One sector of Danish exports which has seen continuous growth in recent years is disability appliances, such as hearing aids. Since 1995, exports of goods in this sector have increased 5-fold and in 2008 represented 1% of total exports at around DKK 6bn (USD 1.1bn) reports financial daily newspaper Børsen.
Hearing aids represent 75% of the Danish disability sector's exports. Well-established Danish companies in this market include Oticon, GN Resound and Widex, which between them have about 40% of the global market.
Finn Lauritzen, director of the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, told Børsen: "This is all about a growth market driven by the fact that we have more money in our pockets and that the elderly population is increasing. Increased prosperity raises expectations of and demand for individually customised well designed disability appliances."
According to a report from the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, it is new growth markets like the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) where exports of Danish disability appliances are doing particularly well. Currently they represent 5% of total Danish exports in this sector.
The director of industry association Danish Rehabilitation Group, Leif Lytken, commented: "One can say that the sector as such has not experienced the serious slowdown that have been seen elsewhere. The sector is not especially sensitive to market conditions as it services needs that have to be met."