Danish Foreign Minister Ander Samuelsen announced in an interview with Politiken newspaper that the country will name a digital ambassador. Denmark would be the first nation in the world to appoint one and will work on building ties with the globe’s tech giants.
Samuelsen said companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have such influence today and “affect Denmark just as much as entire countries. These companies have become a type of new nations and we need to confront that,” he added.
In fact, these firms are so large that if Apple and Google were countries would only miss out on the inclusion in the G20, the world’s largest 20 economies.
The ambassador hasn’t been appointed yet and it is likely for him or she to head up a department consisting on just a few people and based within Denmark itself. But will carry similar duties to other Danish ambassadors, and negotiate on behalf of the country.
This appointment reflects the growing power shift between established nations and privately owned companies. “We must, of course, maintain the old ways of building relations with other countries. Yet we also need to have close relationships with some of the companies that affect us.
Just last week Facebook announced plans to build a new data center in Odense, creating at least 150 prominent jobs. Apple made a similar announcement in 2015. More so, only if 1% of all companies in Denmark are foreign, they account for around 20% of all jobs. .“For this reason, the Danish government works continuously to attract more foreign investments to Denmark,” Samuelsen added.
"This will benefit companies and the Danes through increased growth, smarter working procedures, better solutions for the environment and much more," Brian Mikkelsen, Denmark's business minister, said in a statement.