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Relations between New Zealand and Denmark are good, and there has always been a high degree of agreement in the New Zealand and Danish outlook on international affairs. As small trading nations, which share common values, we are more often than not led to similar conclusions on matters of mutual interest (eg sustainable development, human rights, peacekeeping and UN reform).
Within the EU, Denmark is a strong advocate for more open international trade and has traditionally, been at the forefront arguing for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
On environment-related issues, New Zealand continues to lobby Denmark to take a more conservation-minded position in the International Whaling Commission, where it has consistently voted against the creation of new whale sanctuaries, including in the South Pacific. While Denmark does not seek to engage in commercial whaling - its interest being in indigenous rights - it does support pro-whaling countries on many issues.
The Ministry of Science and Innovation has identified Denmark as a priority country for science and innovation engagement. Denmark is a world leader in innovation in many fields and New Zealand sees opportunities for engagement on shipping, health and pharmaceuticals and green technologies (particularly wind and energy efficiency), which are particular strengths of Denmark.
There is a small Danish community in this country, descended from a group of early settlers who came out to clear thick North Island bush in the middle years of last century and stayed on to found settlements like Dannevirke and Norsewood. In fact, a former Prime Minister and high-ranking churchman from Denmark, Bishop Ditlev Gothard Monrad, established a community in Longburn, Manawatu and set up the first dairy plant in the region. He returned to Denmark after three years, but members of his family stayed behind, as well as a substantial art collection now held by Te Papa.
A social security agreement was concluded with Denmark in May 1997. The agreement provides for mutual arrangements for the payment of pensions and other benefits to nationals in each country. An air services agreement between New Zealand and the three Scandinavian Airlines System countries ( Denmark, Norway and Sweden) was signed in February 2001. A working holidays arrangement, allowing young Danes and New Zealanders to live and work for up to one year in the other country, was concluded in December 2001.
Land Area - 43,100 sq km (excluding
Greenland and the Faroe Islands)
Population - 5.5 million (2011)
Capital City - Copenhagen
Language - Danish
Political system - Parliamentary
democracy and constitutional monarchy
National government – Centre-left coalition between the Social Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party and the Social Liberals.
National legislature - Folketing (unicameral parliament)
Last election -September 2011
Next election due - September 2015
Head of State - Queen Margrethe II (acceded to the throne in January 1972)
Head of Government - Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Social Democrats)
GDP - US$332.8 billion
Real GDP growth: 1%
Exports - US$111.7 billion
Imports - US$102.1 billion
Main exports - Machinery and transport equipment, food, drinks, tobacco and live animals, chemical and related goods
Current account balance - US$21.6 billion
Inflation - 2.8%
Unemployment - 6%
New Zealand Trade
NZ Exports (FOB) - NZ$230 million
Main Exports - Butter, electrical apparatus, sheepmeat, frozen beef, wine
NZ Imports (CIF) - NZ$215 million
Main Imports - electric generating sets and rotary converters, pork, engines and motors, medicaments, toys.
The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Denmark [external link].