Pia Olsen Dyhr, Danish Minister for Trade and Investment, on the renewables relationship between Mexico and Denmark.
The year 2012 will be a special one for both Denmark and Mexico. Denmark is currently hosting the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first six months of the year, while Mexico is hosting the G20 presidency. This provides opportunities to strengthen our bi-lateral relations and to further our common agendas on climate change and green growth. The common position on these global issues has laid the foundations for a strong partnership between our two countries. Together with South Korea this strategic partnership has led to a joint partnership around the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) initiative. The 3GF is an annual high-level public-private partnership that brings together global leaders from government, business, finance, and civil society to collectively spur green growth and design the architecture for a green economy. Green growth is not only a way of ensuring that future growth will be sustainable, but it also promotes growth in itself by promoting job creation and investment in areas of green tech.
I would like to congratulate Mexico on its efforts and the leadership role it has taken on the international climate change agenda. This role is illustrated by its sturdy leadership hosting COP16 in Cancún in 2010 and by the importance that Mexico has placed on green growth, making it one of the priorities of its G20 presidency. Nationally, Mexico has set serious targets, setting the pace for the rest of Latin America. Mexico’s recently-launched National Energy Strategy aims to scale up power supply from non-fossil fuel energy to 35% by 2026. If the political will is there, this is good for investments.
Needless to say, the transition from conventional to non-conventional energy requires non-conventional ways of thinking. In Denmark, 25% of our power supply today comes from wind. No other country in the world can match that. And our ambitions do not stop there: We have a clear strategy for turning our dreams of a fossil-free society into a concrete long-term action plan. By 2020, 50% of our electricity will come from wind power and 20% from biomass. By 2050, we will be 100% fossil fuel free. This requires vision, guts, and innovation. I believe that is the reason why Denmark was recently nominated the leading green innovator in the world by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
I see strong possibilities for expanding our partnership in green energy. Denmark’s competency and experience in wind, coupled with the high wind energy potential in Mexico, makes this an ideal sector for cooperation. During my recent visit to Mexico in April 2011, I had the pleasure to discuss the opportunities and challenges in Mexico with key Mexican stakeholders and the Danish turbine manufacturer, Vestas. Vestas will be constructing Latin America’s largest wind park in the state of Oaxaca. The 132 windmills will have a total capacity of 396 MW.
In general, I am pleased to see our commercial ties strengthening. Trade between Denmark and Mexico has seen a steep increase of over 200% in the last 10 years, and Denmark is the fourth largest EU investor in Mexico. I believe the best is yet to come.
The Vestas agreement comes on the back of two other recent announcements by Danish toy manufacturer LEGO, and Maersk Terminals. LEGO, in late 2011, announced a $100 million expansion of its factory in Monterrey, making it the largest in the world. The factory, which takes advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to export to the US, will also be the center of production for all of the Americas. This was followed by the announcement by Maersk Terminals to invest $900 million to develop a new container facility at the port of Lázaro Cárdenas on Mexico’s west coast. Our pharmaceutical sector also has a strong presence in Mexico, and I am convinced that experiences from our welfare state and life sciences can be valuable to increasing demand from the Mexican people. Mexico is growing into one of the world’s top 10 economies, laying the foundation for lifting more Mexicans out of poverty. New demands will require investments and new technology. We have it.
Therefore, though our relationship is strong and trade is increasing, there is room for improvement. I want to ensure that we stay among the top investors in Mexico. Therefore, I would like to see more Danish companies discover Mexico. But we also need to see more Mexican companies finding Denmark on the world map.
© The Business Year