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Diplomacy MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2018 - ISSUE 4

• DANISH PM'S GLOBAL OUTLOOK • THAILAND'S NEW AMBASSADOR • CROWN PRINCE TURNS 50 COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK


HOLDING DOWN DENMARK'S TOP JOB IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD Hasse Ferrold

With former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

BY STEPHEN GADD

The Prime Minister reflects on the issues of the day, from the role of diplomacy to the changes brought about by globalisation and the problems connected with it Born in southeast Jutland in Vejle in 1964, Lars Løkke Rasmussen is Denmark's current Prime Minister and has held the post since June 2015. Rasmussen became active in politics fairly early on. He was national chair of the youth wing of Denmark's liberal party Venstre from 1986-1989, and he was been active in local politics, serving on the council of Græsted-Gilleleje Municipality in a number of different capacities. He has been a member of the Danish Parliament since October 1994. From 1998-2001 Rasmussen served as mayor of Frederiks-

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borg Amt and from 1998 he was deputy chair of his party. Rasmussen also has considerable ministerial experience, having served as minister of the interior and health minister under the government led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen from 2005-2007. He was then appointed finance minister in 2007 and became prime minister for the first time in April 2009 when Anders Fogh Rasmussen was appointed NATO's secretary general.

LARS LØKKE RASMUSSEN SPOKE TO THE CPH POST.

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What do you see as the most important foreign policy priorities for Denmark at the present time? We live in a fast changing world. The unpredictability of international politics has not been this extensive in decades. Last year, my government issued our Foreign and Security

Policy Strategy for 2017-18, identifying five overall areas of particular focus in the light of current global developments: migration; instability and terrorism; security in the neighbourhood region; Brexit; and the future of the European Union, globalisation and the Arctic. These five areas are not the only issues demanding our attention. But within these overall areas, we have launched a number of concrete initiatives to enhance our foreign and security policy focus and efforts. At a more fundamental level, these challenges represent an increasing pressure on the international rules-based co-operation as we know it. For a small country like Denmark with an open economy, this is a very serious challenge. In the years to come, it will continue to be a fundamental priority in Danish foreign policy to support a strong international rules based order of co-operation. Cover photo: Hasse Ferrold


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Hasse Ferrold

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How much influence do Danish embassies abroad have and what role do they play? The Danish embassies abroad perform multiple tasks with the primary aim of promoting and protecting Danish interests. They represent the Danish government and Danish society in a broader sense. Fundamentally, they are a tool to maintaining and developing bilateral relations and to representing Danish political interests in other countries and multilateral structures. Embassies in a number of developing countries also administer Danish development assistance. And the embassies assist Danes abroad as well as Danish companies and exports/investments, thus contributing to the Danish government’s growth agenda.

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Is there any special event connected to Denmark and diplomacy that particularly sticks in your mind? Basically, diplomacy is about dialogue and co-operation in order to obtain good relations between countries. Sometimes it can be valuable to do something different and something that can be remembered in order to pave the way for a good dialogue and co-operation. One funny story comes to mind: when I visited Indonesia last autumn I brought a gift for the President of Indonesia which was not quite traditional. I was aware that President Widodo is a devoted heavy metal and Metallica fan. Last time Metallica played a concert in Indonesia in Jakarta in 2013, President Widodo was in the audience. Because of this, I brought President Widodo a remastered set of Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' album, which was signed by the Danish drummer Lars Ulrich on the front page. The Indonesian press dubbed it 'Metallica diplomacy'.

Hasse Ferrold

Shaking hands with Barack Obama at the UN Council Chamber

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How do you see the role of diplomacy from the perspective of a Danish politician? Diplomacy is very important, not least for a small country like Denmark. Among allies, Denmark is often said to be 'punching above its weight' in international politics. A focused and efficient diplomacy is very much part of this, alongside other Danish international efforts including military operations and development co-operation. With the current unpredictability in international politics and pressure on the international rules-based co-operation, the framework for Danish foreign and security policy is challenged. That only increases the importance of Denmark being actively engaged multilaterally and bilaterally in shaping developments and ensuring Danish interests.

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What role does diplomacy play in the way Denmark co-operates with foreign countries? Obviously, Denmark has strong ties with many countries on numerous levels. Relations among European Union Member States are particularly close politically and commercially. So are our relations to our closest allies, not least the US. In the past couple of years we have also engaged in much closer strategic partnerships with several countries outside the circle of traditional allies. Danish embassies and diplomats around the world are key tools, as are other countries’ embassies and diplomats posted to Denmark. The Danish government highly appreciates our close relationship with the diplomatic community in Denmark.

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Meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July 2017


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Allow me to give a concrete example: their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince Couple led a large mission to Tokyo last autumn. Their willingness to open doors and participate in sector-focused events helped strengthen the ties between our two countries.

Hasse Ferrold

Members of the Danish Royal Family often spearhead trading initiatives abroad. How important a role do they play and could provide some examples? The fact that members of our royal family often spearhead trade missions plays a very important role for Denmark and the Danish business community. Their presence increases the general awareness of Denmark and they are our most valuable ‘ambassadors’. They also strongly support the business community and the trade mission and can thus help facilitate closer dialogue with key high-level partners. The Royal Family is not engaged in political initiatives, so a representative of the Danish Government always accompanies the Royal Family on foreign visits.

Rasmussen and the chair of the Danish Municipalities, Bent Hansen, receive the cancer society Kræftens Bekæmpelse's prize of honour from Crown Princess Mary for showing extraordinary political leadership

The Royal Family is also very engaged in humanitarian issues. The Crown Princess was actively involved with one of the biggest ever conferences on women’s rights, Women Deliver, in Copenhagen in 2016.

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There seems to be an increasing amount of disillusionment with politicians and the political process all over Europe and in the US. This has led to the rise of extremist politicians and extremist views. What are your thoughts on that?

Since my eldest son was born, infant mortality has decreased by more than 40 percent. Since my daughter was born, the share of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half. In short there is no doubt, that globalisation provides better living conditions for the vast majority of the global population. But not for all. Because as globalisation is increasing, the gap between the fortunate and less fortunate seems to widen as well because there are almost no jobs for people without good skills. That is the flip-side of Hasse Ferrold

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globalisation, which also fosters insecurity and sometimes even anger. If you find yourself with fewer opportunities than you expected – of course you get frustrated and react.

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The only way forward is for politicians and leaders to stand by their beliefs, not neglecting progress or morality. But at the same time, we need to respond to people’s concerns, especially regarding immigration issues. There are no simple solutions to complex problems. But that should never be an excuse for not solving them. We must not leave anyone behind.

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One concrete aspect that might be considered by some as a sort of political protest is the Brexit vote. How does Denmark intend to cope with the exit of the UK from the EU as the UK is one of Denmark's major trading partners? My job is to look after the interests of Danish citizens, businesses and taxpayers. It is no secret that we had hoped the UK would stay in the single market and customs union. However, we have to respect the British wish for a clean break with the EU. Instead we need to ensure an orderly British withdrawal and define a new relationship on different terms. The EU27 has put forward a fair and balanced proposal. We want to maintain as much market access between the British and the EU internal market as possible. At the same time, we need to ensure a level playing field for our businesses. That’s why any future agreement must ensure a balance between rights and obligations. We are hoping for the best, but we also have to prepare for the worst.

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Hasse Ferrold

Harvard, Cambridge and Bollywood Dance

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How do you view Danish relations with the EU and NATO? Maintaining and preserving the international rules-based order is fundamental for Denmark and our economy, security and liberal values. The EU and NATO are integral to the framework on which Danish foreign and security policy interests are pursued and preserved internationally.

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For a small, open economy like the Danish one, it is of course imperative to be part of the EU and the single market. It is the key to ensuring growth and prosperity. NATO is vital for Danish security and Denmark remains a core ally. Transatlantic unity is a cornerstone in NATO, and we stand ready to shoulder our part of the burden.

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With UK Prime Minister Theresa May in April this year 7


THAILAND AND DENMARK – A RELATIONSHIP THAT TURNS 160 THIS YEAR BY STEPHEN GADD Thailand's ambassador to Denmark, Vichit Chitvimarn, has a background in political science and completed his education in Japan. Before coming to this country the ambassador previously served primarily in Asian countries. While serving at the Foreign Ministry, the ambassador dealt with policy and planning security affairs, as well as in multilateral co-operations such as ASEAN and APEC, and news and information affairs.

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I know that you are a relative newcomer to Denmark, but what is your impression of Denmark and the Danes so far? I find that the Danes are a friendly and happy people. Wherever I go I meet kind and sympathetic people who are willing to help. I am impressed by their trustworthiness too. And I am getting to know and appreciate the 'hygge' lifestyle. Denmark is very green and also environmentally conscious while being socially progressive, business-friendly and highly digitalised.

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Do you think that there is anything Thailand can learn from Denmark – or conversely, Denmark can learn from Thailand? I admire very much how Danes are so environmentally conscious. From recycling habits to cycling to work and school, I think Danes take the environment and care for the planet very seriously. I have just read a report that in Denmark, people use an average of four single-use plastic bags a year. Also, the quality of life here is ideal. Denmark was just voted the world’s best in terms of work/life balance. I think that is what makes the Danes very happy people. Also, I have tried to understand how the issue of trust in Denmark contributed to the successful state of livelihood and well-being. People trust one another, not only on a personal level but also in terms of trust in the system. This explains the low level of corruption here. As for what Denmark can learn from Thailand, we are a very tolerant and resilient people. We adjust and adapt quickly to the changing environment. We are also very flexible and compromising, seeking harmony and reconciliation in the society. We also have a long history and tradition which shape us the way we are and the way we think. One idea that I think can be shared with Denmark is the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) which is a legacy

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Vichit Chitvimarn is Thailand's new ambassador in Denmark

left by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It has been the guiding principle for Thailand’s development approach and way of life at all levels for more than 40 years. The SEP is an approach for sustainable development which espouses moderation, reasonableness and the need for self-immunity as development framework based on knowledge and virtues. The philosophy attaches great importance to human development at all levels (individual/family, community, nation) and emphasises the need to strengthen community’s capacity, to ensure a balanced way for life and resilience, with full respect for the environment.

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Could you fill in a little of the historical background to Danish-Thai relations? Our bilateral relations date back some 400 years, first from trading contacts during the reigns of King Christian IV and Phra Chao Song Tham, King of Siam in the Ayutthaya period. With the signing of

the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in 1858, therefore this year we celebrate 160 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Denmark. Furthermore, there have been several exchanges of visits between the two Royal Families. His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej paid a State Visit to Denmark in 1960 with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. In 2001, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II paid a State Visit to Thailand accompanied by His Royal Highness the late Prince Henrik and His Royal Highness HRH Crown Prince Frederik. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, at the time the Crown Prince of Thailand, paid an Official Visit to Denmark in September 1988. This cements the long-lasting relations between Thailand and Denmark. Readers may not be aware of this, but in 1960, His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit presented two elephants to His Majesty


the late King Frederick IX and Her Majesty the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. Later, in 2001 on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II's State Visit to Thailand, Their Majesties presented two more elephants to Her Majesty. In addition, the people of Surin Province of Thailand gave a female elephant as a gift to the people of Denmark. At present, there are four Thai elephants at Copenhagen Zoo. You might be interested to know that the East Asiatic Company had its roots in Thailand when it was started in 1884 by HN Andersen together with his friend Peter Andersen, and known as Andersen & Company before it established its headquarters in Copenhagen in 1897 and went on to become one of the most successful shipping and trading companies in the world. Also, our very first and only foreign Royal Thai Navy Commander was a Dane – Andreas du Plessis de Richelieu – who served during the reign of King Rama V and gained his full trust and was given the Siamese noble title of Phraya Cholayuth Yodhin.

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This year, Denmark and Thailand are celebrating 160 years of diplomatic relations and have devised a special logo for the occasion. Can you tell me a little about that? This beautiful logo was created, thanks to the initiative of the Royal Danish Embassy in Bangkok, to illustrate the close and strong relationship between Thailand and Denmark. In the logo, you will find the national bird of Denmark – the mute swan – and the national animal of Thailand – the elephant – closely intertwined in the colours of our countries’ national flags: red, blue and white. The swan traditionally symbolises pride and glory while the elephant is linked to the characteristics of strength and longevity. These two majestic animals, when connected, become greater and stronger. We are looking forward to celebrating the great and longstanding relations between our two Kingdoms.

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What are the main fields in which Denmark and Thailand co-operate? There is much potential for co-operation in the area of food and agriculture between Denmark and Thailand as Thailand has an advantage in both being an agriculture country and possessing vast knowledge of food processing techniques. We have the National Food Institute aiming to elevate the quality, safety and nutrition of Thai food products and services including elevating quality of life and smartness for Thai farmers, as well as the Food Innopolis, which is a global food innovation hub focusing on research, development and innovation for the food industry. I believe we can explore further co-operation with several counterpart agencies in Denmark in the fields of agricultural practices and food safety as well as the development of new agriculture products. Furthermore, energy efficiency like green technology, reusable and access to energy, a smarter society by digitalisation are areas Thailand would like to explore further with Denmark – especially digitalisation which will be a boost to trade and commerce. The Danish companies will find good opportunities in Thailand's important policies/projects such as the Thailand 4.0 model and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). We are interested in the work covered by the Danish Tech Ambassador too.

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table kitchenware, 6) teleprinters, telephone sets and parts, 7) motor cars, parts and accessories, 8) printed circuits, 9) other electrical equipment and parts and 10) iron and steel and their products. While ten major imports from Denmark in 2017 were 1) animals and animal products, 2) machinery and parts, 3) medicine and pharmaceutical products, 4) chemicals, 5) electrical machinery and parts, 6) vegetables and vegetable products, 7) scientific, medical, testing appliances and instruments, 8) plastic products, 9) electronic integrated circuits and 10) metal parts.

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What do you see as your primary role as Thai ambassador in Denmark? It is a great honour to be the head of mission in a country with which Thailand has such a long standing friendship and with which there are so many opportunities for co-operation across the fields of innovative food and smart agriculture, renewable energy, and tourism and culture on the people to people side. I will work to reinforce these ties and forge new ones. I also hope to see an exchange of high-level visits between Thailand and Denmark. I also wish to work on supporting the Thai community of around 15,000 people in Denmark so that they are well integrated in Danish society while at the same time maintaining Thai traditional values and culture. This year being a special year of the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Denmark, we have, in collaboration with the Danish Foreign Ministry, several activities planned. For instance, on 27 June 2018, the Royal Thai Embassy will host a reception to celebrate the 160th year of diplomatic relations between Thailand and

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What are the major Thai exports to Denmark and what does Thailand import from Denmark? In 2017, the trade volume between Thailand and Denmark was 772.10 million USD. Thailand exported to Denmark at 415.61 million USD while Denmark imported from Thailand at 356.49 million USD. In 2017, ten major Thai exports to Denmark were 1) footwear and parts, 2) precious stones and jewellery, 3) boards, electrical control panels, 4) electrical apparatus for switching or protecting, 5) household

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How does Thailand see itself on the world stage in terms of foreign policy? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand has launched a comprehensive 20-Year Foreign Affairs Master Plan known as the 5S Strategy to propel Thailand into a developed country. In terms of the Security Strategy, the Plan seeks to step up Thailand’s role in advancing stability in the region, and strengthening ASEAN. As for Sustainability Strategy, we aim to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness while ensuring green growth and seek to heighten Thailand’s role as an international partner for sustainable development. The Standard Strategy ensures effective implementation of international obligations. The Status Strategy focuses on enhancing Thailand's status in the international community through its soft power diplomacy such as Thai culture and gastronomy, and lastly the Synergy Strategy aims for better co-ordination, information-sharing and efficiency through the greater use of new technology.

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How does Thailand view such things as global warming and what is the government doing to tackle the problems that this create?

The chedi at Wat Chan That Tharam in the town of Khanom – one of Thailand's best-kept secrets (photo: Kosin Sukhum) Denmark. A few days later, on Saturday 30 June 2018, we will organise our annual Thai Festival for the Danes and foreigners to directly experience 'Thai-ness' in all aspects – food, drinks, tourism, OTOP products and cultural performances from Thailand such as Thai dancing and Thai boxing. The event will be held at Havneparken at Islands Brygge from 10.00-18.00 hrs and everyone is welcome to join us.

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Thailand has a history of military intervention in politics. Do you think that this will change eventually and the country will become more like the western democracies? To build a stable democracy is not an easy path and it takes time. The western democracies as we know them today have also gone through an evolution to overcome many challenges along the way. Like Denmark, Thailand also believes in democracy but democracy would not be meaningful without stability. The current government has a genuine intention to restore the country’s stability, to resolve political division that had paralysed the country for over a decade, to rebuild business confidence through reforms and to pave the way towards sustainable democracy. This is what we call the three-stage Roadmap of Reconciliation, Reform and Elections. The Government has shown thus far that it is fully committed to the Roadmap which clearly stipulates a timeline for the elections, and is on its way. As Thailand undertakes reform, we and the OECD are preparing to launch the Country Programme with four pillars: public sector reform; advancing good governance, investment and competitiveness; Thailand 4.0; and economic growth in the first half of 2018 to push forward internationally recognised reforms and to support Thailand’s goal of attaining the high income status.

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Thailand has ratified the Paris Agreement since 21 September 2016. Thailand’s Climate Change Management Master Plan 2015-2050 serves as a long-term comprehensive framework for all concerned agencies to tackle all aspects of climate change. Presently we have a roadmap to achieve the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent by the year 2030. Partnerships at all levels, including enhanced public and private partnerships, will be instrumental in the implementation for the Paris Agreement and moving us towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

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Finally, what would be the places you would recommend foreigners to visit if they want to see the real Thailand – and not just the common tourist-traps? More than 150,000 Danes travel to Thailand each year, half of whom are repeaters. Most Danes already know and have been to most top destinations in Thailand, like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Phuket, Krabi. However, there are many interesting but lesser known destinations waiting to be explored by Danish tourists. In 2018, the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a new campaign called 'Open to the New Shades of Thailand'. The concept of the campaign is to ask visitors to open their minds and hearts to discover new perspectives in existing attractions or indulge in the experiences of new tourist destinations. As most Danes go to Thailand to seek out warm weather and sandy beaches, I would like to recommend a visit to Nakhon Si Thammarat, a province in the Southern region of Thailand, adjacent to the more well-known provinces of Surat Thanai, Krabi and Trang. A small quiet town in Nakhon Si Thammarat called Khanom is one of the best-kept secrets in Thailand. It is a charming alternative destination away from busy tourist areas with an 8 km long coastline along the Gulf of Thailand with calm and beautiful beaches as well as unspoiled lush forests. A highlight also includes a boat trip to see pink dolphins. Besides Nakhon Si Thammarat, other untouched or unspoilt destinations include the provinces of Chumporn, Ranong, Rayong, Trat and Chantaburi. Further details can be found at dk.tourismthailand.org/ home.


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ASIA HOUSE – A UNIQUE PLATFORM FOR CULTURAL AND BUSINESS EXCHANGES

Carsten Dencker Nielsen

BY STEPHEN GADD

Creating a 'to go' place for liaising with people in Denmark and providing a network and access to people in Asia It all goes back to the end of the 19th century and one of the most entrepreneurial Danes who ever lived. He was a man who said “the world is no larger than it can be encompassed by the mind”, thus understanding globalisation before the term became current. The author of the remark, Captain HN Andersen, was the founder of the mighty East Asiatic Company and what is now known as Asia House began as the company headquarters.

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Today, it serves as a resource for Asian embassies in Denmark as well as being a meeting place for business people from both Asia and Denmark and a receptacle of knowledge to help Danish companies connect with potential Asian business partners.

In 2000 I was CEO of EAC and decided not to go to Singapore and so I had to leave the company. The building was empty and I felt it had the potential to become a platform for cultural and business exchange between Asia and Denmark.

CPH POST interviewed Carsten Dencker Nielsen, the honorary chairman of Asia House and the man who got the ball rolling back in 2000.

We also established a partnership with CBS called Asia Business Forum. The combination of regular seminar activity and offering the facilities to Asian embassies in Copenhagen led to the house getting a new lease of life. It also became a meeting place for Asian/Danish societies.

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Could you give me a little background on the start of Asia House? The building dates back to 1897 when the Copenhagen free port was just starting up. After 10 years EAC moved to Holbergsgade because the company had expanded so fast the house was not big enough. A number of changes of use followed, and then in 1997 EAC celebrated its centenary and as a jubilee project the house was thoroughly renovated and refurbished and renamed Asia House.

During that period, it was also frequently used by the Asian embassies for their own arrangements, such as national days etc.

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How does this work on a practical level? We started out with a business forum with invited high-level academics from around the world giving seminars. In time, we discovered


that our clientele – the captains of Danish industry and business – just don't have time for this kind of arrangement. We've now changed the concept. It's now a more structured framework.

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What can you facilitate through Asia House that normal diplomatic contacts can't achieve? None of the Asian embassies in Copenhagen have facilities like Asia House. Whatever their own resources, all of them welcome the presence of an Asia House and make extensive use of it. In order to bring them together, we have two lunches a year where all the investors are invited plus an interesting keynote speaker. All the embassies go out of their way to attend these lunches. Because of the rotation principle, there will always be newcomers. In the early years, we served as a nursemaid for some of the smaller embassies by holding their national days in Asia House. When you are new and starting from scratch, it is very helpful to have a nursemaid like that. We're not replacing what the embassies are doing themselves, we're building on top of that, basically, in terms of bringing them together. Apart from the two lunches we also have a dinner meeting in August for Danish ambassadors serving in Asia.

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How do you define 'Asia' when it comes to your activities? At the moment, the western part of Asia starts in Pakistan and goes as far as Australia although Australia is not geographically part of Asia. The Australians have been part of our program since the start and they appreciate being invited into the group. We also invite some of the Asian countries to our functions that are not represented in Denmark. The ASEAN organisation has used Asia House as a platform for several meetings. They also invite ambassadors from other parts of the world to their meetings, so it creates an awareness of Asia House amongst Copenhagen's diplomatic community.

Asia House has become a respected and well-known institution in Denmark SRH: Yes. For example, in Denmark we have quite a few technical hubs. If you go to Odense you can find a lot of information on robot technology. Those companies know each other but they may not know who is working in robotics in Bangalore. We can connect the people from Asia to the relevant people in Denmark. If you look at the Danish communities, Danish business people would come to Carsten's office when he was working in Japan or Bangkok asking if he could connect them to people in the wider Danish community or other stakeholders in the country and the officials there. I also want us to be able to guide people to relevant Danish stakeholders in the countries. Seminars are outdated. Business people have a general framework and want to get specific problems solved. In the old days you had delegations going to a country for five days, but nobody does that now. Nowadays, you have to link people up with other people with knowledge of specific areas. A broad knowledge is also important, as is cultural awareness. People can benefit from this if they go to Asian countries because Danes have a more direct approach than most Asians. Asia House can help them.

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When you look back, what has given you the most satisfaction? Probably that Asia House has become a respected and well-known institution in Denmark. In these days of widespread social networking, how do you see the future? Isn't there a risk that this sort of organisation could become redundant? I don't think so! But I think it is vital for Asia House to follow the trends and to be able to adjust the emphasis and direction it is going in. The need will continue to be there, but it is very important that we are able to renew ourselves. At this point, Asia House's executive director, Susanne Rumohr Hækkerup, joined the interview. SRH: The idea of a gateway to Asia from Denmark is as pertinent as ever. You have a lot of information but it is very scattered. Here you have to have a 'go to' place where you can liaise with people in Denmark and also have the network and access to people in Asia. An organisation like Asia House has no vested interest other than connecting the dots, finding the right stakeholders and bringing them together, so it is a rather unique platform.

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Everybody networks for themselves nowadays, but you obviously have a lot of expertise …

Captain HN Andersen understood globalisation a long time before the term was current

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Many of the faces on these pages will be familiar to readers of CPH POST as they are foreign ambassadors to Denmark and feature regularly in Hasse Ferrold’s About Town. Many are not based in Denmark, but fulfil their ambassadorial positions from overseas

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Should you notice any omissions, out-of-date information or errors (mis-identifications, spelling etc), please don’t hesitate to contact CPH POST at ben@cphpost.dk Zambia

Zimbabwe

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Samuel Mhango (Stockholm)


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FREDERIK: PRINCE OF THE PEOPLE

BY OLIVER RAASSINA Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th birthday celebrations at the end of May (see pages 2223) demonstrated that the heir to the Danish throne is widely loved and adored. The week-long festivities started with the Royal Run when over 70,000 people ran alongside the prince in five cities across Denmark, and they ended with an extravagant live show broadcast on national television. It was a fitting tribute to a prince who the Danish people regard as their most relatable, down-to-earth royal.

STUDENT, SEAL, SUPERHERO Frederik was born on 26 May 1968 to the then Princess Margrethe and Prince Henrik. Just one year and 12 days later, he became an elder brother when Prince Joachim was born. Frederik was educated at Øregard Gymnasium and earned a degree in political science from Aarhus University, which included a year abroad at Harvard University. Frederik took it upon himself to join the Danish

Defence Forces and complete the training in all three branches. This included the elite Danish Frogman Corps, a physically demanding course onto which very few are accepted, which is comparable to the US Navy Seals. Frederik’s military career impressed the public, as it showed his willingness to get his hands dirty – not too dissimilar to how British prince Prince Harry received plaudits for going on active duty in Afghanistan. He remains an active member of the armed forces and has maintained his physical shape through his interest in fitness, which he regularly promotes to the country’s youth – a focus he cited as one of his reasons for becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2009. He has taken part in a number of marathons and ironman competitions as well as entering sailing competitions. His promotion of an active lifestyle, as well as his commitment to staying in shape as he has grown older, has played an integral part in his image amongst the Danish public.

LOYAL TO HIS FAMILY The family life of Frederik and Princess Mary has also been a source of inspiration to the Danish people, and their marriage has often been referred to as something out of a fairy-tale. The two met during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney in Mary’s native Australia. The couple were introduced by friends, and Frederik did not initially reveal who he was. The two married at Copenhagen Cathedral on 14 May 2004. The national attention the wedding received showed just how highly Frederik was respected, and Mary would go on to receive the same level of admiration. The couple have four children: Christian (born in 2005), Isabella (2007) and the twins Vincent and Josephine (2011). Frederik represents the qualities the Danish people think a royal should aspire to. When one day he does accede to the throne, he will become a true king of the people.

21


CROWN PRINCE FREDERIK’S FIFTY AND HE’S FEELING FANTASTIC

Photos: Hasse Ferrold Words: Ben Hamilton Prince Crown Prince Frederik has turned 50 and it took him over a week. But ask him to run an English mile and he’s as quick as you like. On May 21, the birthday boy and 70,574 others made and marked history in the Royal Run – a run organised concurrently in five different Danish cities

Helping out Dad were all of his children, including the youngest: the twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, whose lightning start took everyone by surprise

Frederik was in good company. Just behind him is the city mayor Frank Jensen, followed by Anders Samuelsen, the foreign minister

And Team Blue wasn’t far away, with Crown Princess Mary clearly proud of the efforts of the twins and elder siblings Prince Christian and Princess Isabella

Also out on the track were (left-right) Romanian ambassador Mihai-Alexandru Gradinar, French ambassador Francois Zimeray, Frederiksberg mayor Jørgen Glenthøj and the ‘Frederik 50 Fans’, and an assembled group of Danes of Chinese origin 22


What celebration could be complete without an obligatory salute from the famous balcony at Amalienborg Castle. The Royal Family duly obliged on May 26 and then gave the birthday boy his moment in the limelight

It was what the visiting public had wanted to see, and a day later outside the Royal Arena, they were treated to a who’s who of dignitaries who turned up for the special gala event, which was televised to the nation. First the Crown Prince Family arrived …

and then a wide spectrum of royals and other VIPs (left-right): Frederik’s brother Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and Prince Felix; Mette Bock, the culture secretary; Alexandra the countess of Frederiksborg; and Pia Kjærsgaard, the speaker of Parliament, and her husband 23


BY HASSE FERROLD

ABOUT TOWN

On February 23, Estonia celebrated its centenary with a lavish affair at the Hotel d’Angleterre – chosen as it also hosted the 20th anniversary party in 1938. Among the guests of ambassador Märt Volmer (third left) were (left-right) Icelandic ambassador Benedikt Bjarki Jonsson, the former Danish minister Bertel Haarder, US ambassador Carla Sands, [Volmer], Lithuanian ambassador Ginte Damusis and Latvian ambassador Kaspars Ozolins. Estonia is one of several countries celebrating its centenary this year – a popular milestone due to the end of World War I

On March 22, the guests of Greek ambassador Efthalia Kakiopoulou (left) at her nation day celebration at her Hellerup residence included (left-right) Brazilian ambassador Carlos Paranhos, German ambassador Andreas Meitzner, Pakistani ambassador Zulfiqar Gardezi, Italian ambassador Stefano Palmas, Iranian ambassador Morteza Moradian, Slovenian ambassador Tone Kajzer, Cuban ambassador Yiliam Gomez, Georgian ambassador Gigi Gigiadze, Indian ambassador Ajit Gupte and Bulgarian ambassador Roussi Ivanov

Ghana held a colourful celebration at the Hellerup Park Hotel on March 6, which included a ‘cutting the cake’ ceremony involving (left-right) Ivory Coast ambassador Mina Balde-Laurent, Burkina Faso ambassador Maria-Goretti Agaleoue, Ghanaian ambassador Amerley Awua-Asamoa and Cuban ambassador Yiliam Gomez

Irish ambassador Cliona Manahan (right) was at hand to illuminate the Radisson Royal Hotel in green on the occasion of her country’s national day celebrations on March 15. Helping her to push the button were Catherine Byrne, the Irish health minister, and hotel manager Brian Gleeson

Iran celebrated its national day on February 9 at its embassy in Østerbro, where ambassador Morteza Moradian’s guests included his Polish counterpart Henryka Moscicka-Dendys

Bulgarian ambassador Roussi Ivanov oversaw proceedings at his residence in Charlottenlund as his country celebrated its national day on March 2

24


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On April 13, Cuban ambassador Yiliam Gomez was the host at Kaffesalonen overlooking the Lakes, which provided a setting of palm trees and rum to guests that included (left-right) UAE ambassador Fatima Al Mazrouei, the Cuban consul Ares Valdes, who is also Gomez’s husband, Norwegian ambassador Aud Kolberg, Gomez, the dean of the diplomatic corps, Ivory Coast ambassador Mina Laurent, Japanese ambassador Toshiro Suzuki and his wife, and South African deputy ambassador Tsholofelo Lefifi

On May 16, Argentine ambassador Conrado Solari welcomed many of his peers to celebrate his national day at his Hellerup residence. Among those in attendance were (left-right) Austrian ambassador Maria Rotheiser-Scotti, Ivory Coast’s ambassador Mina Balde Laurent, Luxembourg’s ambassador Janine Finck, Greek ambassador Efthalia Kakiopoulou, Moroccan ambassador Khadija Rouissi, Cuban ambassador Yiliam Sardinas Gomez, Solari, Israeli ambassador Benjamin Dagan and Nepalese ambassador Yuba Nath Lamsal

Royarch r,

On March 26, Bangladesh took over Nordatlantens Brygge with a display of music, dance and food – including a cake marveled over by ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhit (left) and the dean of the diplomatic corps, Ivory Coast ambassador Mina Balde-Laurent (second right)

Hans Hermansen (second right), the CEO of CPH POST, presented the departing Italian ambassador Stefano Palmas (centre right) with a tailor-made cover of the newspaper to wish him good luck in the future at the Italian national day celebrations aboard the Costa Favolosa on June 2, which also served as a farewell reception

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CEO of CPH POST Hans Hermansen (left) was among Pakistan ambassador Zulfiqar Gardezi’s guests at the celebration of his country’s national day at Hellerup Park Hotel on March 23

Georgian ambassador Gigi Gigiadze could not wait to cut his cake at his reception on May 25 to mark his country’s national day and the opening of its new embassy at Kalvebod Brygge 25


Coming Up Soon at...

BY HASSE FERROLD

ABOUT TOWN

Words: Oliver Raassina Kronborg Castle’s immersive theatre production ‘Hamlet Live’ (ongoing until August 31) returns for a third successive year following popular and acclaimed performances since its debut in 2016. Visitors can walk through the castle and experience scenes played out in the actual places Shakespeare imagined them happening

Cinemateket is once again bringing back the Latin American Festival (ends June 30) – this time for its sixth edition. The festival will offer up a diverse range of films, events and music as a celebration of Latin American culture. The organisers have curated a list of Latin American films from festivals around the world

The two-day Copenhagen Kimchi Festival (June 15-17) is returning to Torvehallerne to celebrate South Korea and its food culture with a number of different events and activities at the popular food hall. The idea behind the festival is to combine traditional South Korean dishes with a Nordic twist, creating something familiar yet new

The Frederikssund Viking Village is putting on its annual Vikingespil (June 22-July 15) to once again give visitors a glimpse of life during the Viking age. The main focus is a theatrical performance and this year's theme is Harald Bluetooth's meeting with Christianity. Since their debut in 1952 the performances have proved popular with all ages

It’s no wonder Bangkok has become Denmark’s favourite holiday destination outside Europe when you see how many descend on the Thai Festival (June 30) at Islands Brygge. Food booths and attractions will delight all the senses at this cultural celebration, and who knows: maybe somebody will give you directions to ‘The Beach’

The summertime jazz festival is returning, bringing nine days of music and events. Embracing hundreds of venues, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July 6-15) is celebrating its 40th edition and has long held the distinction of being one of Europe’s most reputable jazz festivals. Meanwhile, the nearby Valby Summer Jazz will run concurrently

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The Copenhagen Opera Festival (July 29-August 12) strives to find new spaces for the genre, inhabiting the urban landscape, spreading world-class arias across the streets, canals, transport routes and buildings of the city. And once again the organisers have put together a line-up consisting of both established and new opera acts

For 12 days around the beginning of August, gifted national and international musicians will perform classical and modern compositions at the Copenhagen Summer Festival (July 29-August 9). The festival brings together award-winning composers and musicians along with the most exciting young talents on the classical scene today

He may be British, but the Danes have a special affinity for Shakespeare – not least due to the setting of ‘Hamlet’ at Kronborg Castle. For over a century, the annual Shakespeare Festival (August 1-18) at the castle has featured Shakespearean performances from companies from all over the world, starring some of the all-time greats

If you’re looking for a getaway from Copenhagen life, there’s no better opportunity than the Malmö Festival (August 10-18). Held just across the Øresund, the festival bridges music, art, food and culture to reflect the essence of the city of Malmö. With over 1.4 million visitors a year, it is the largest culture festival in Scandinavia

With its long coastline and checkered history at sea, waterborne activities come second nature to the Danes. The Copenhagen Harbour Festival (August 24-26) will shine a light on the best that the city’s harbour areas have to offer with activities, games, music, dancing and water sports galore. There is truly something for everyone

Every year the Golden Days Festival (September 8-23) takes us on an exploration through history to look at forgotten oddities and lesser known stories – normally in an era or via a theme. This year’s focus is history’s ‘B-sides’, which it will examine through music, film, literature, theatre and architecture amongst many others 27


THE INSIDE STORY

THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN DENMARK – A LITTLE HISTORICAL GEM IN COPENHAGEN

The villa from the back garden

BY CHRISTIAN WENANDE

Owned previously by a margarine mogul and Danish aristocrat, the building that houses the Russian Embassy on Østerbro's leafy Kristianiagade has seen its fair share of history 28

Upon entering the Russian Embassy in

Completed in 1900, Mønsted lived in the

Denmark, one quickly becomes aware of

villa until his death in 1907, at which point

a rich aura of history. And indeed, such an

he was among the wealthiest people in

assumption would not be misplaced.

Denmark.

In 1897, the Danish businessman and mar-

Following a period of ownership by

garine manufacturing giant Otto Mønsted

Countess Musse Scheel and the Northern

commissioned the renowned architect

Society – an organisation that promoted

Vilhelm Dahlerup (whose other iconic

cultural co-operation between Denmark

works in Denmark include the Royal The-

and Germany during the Occupation in

atre, Hotel d'Angleterre and the National

WWII – the villa became the embassy of

Gallery of Denmark) to build him a new

the Soviet Union in 1950.

and palatial villa.


N

Then in 1982 a 70-year lease was signed for the villa, along with the adjacent buildings that serve as the consular section and the Russian school.

A GOOD VINTAGE Inside, high ceilings with intricate designs bring Dahlerup’s penchant for renaissance décor to the fore in an interior that remains largely intact due to the villa enjoying a high-level protected status by the Danish state. Several of the mantelpiece covers still include engravings of the monogram Good use has been made of paintings and antique furniture

Anne Mønsted's monogram

The original high ceilings and interiors are largely intact

belonging to Anne Mønsted, who married

past Russian and Soviet ambassadors to

Otto in 1870, while the Russians have

Denmark.

managed to maintain the authentic look thanks to ample use of classical paintings, antique furniture and majestic chandeliers that decorate room after room.

The rear of the villa is fitted with a charming veranda that leads to a spacious back garden area, where one can fully take in the exterior of what is

The sprawling expanse of wooden

probably one of the more recognisable

floors and towering doorways allow for

villas in Copenhagen.

a unique view through the spectacular dining and meeting rooms, converging into a wall that commemorates the

The overall effect is standing back in awe and saying очень красивый! Early photo of the embassy 29


A DIPLOMATIC UPBrINGING

THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIPS AND MeeTing a FUTUre nobel prize ADOPTING A WELL-LOVED FAMILY DOG winner anD learning langUages For the next decade we moved between European capitals. Though there CPH POST interviewed Shandana Mufti cph post interviewed antonio moments where we faced xenophobia (or straight-up racism), for the whose parents served as diplomats for ■ Life aswere the child of a diplomat can be was engaging and fulfilling and has conmost part, I don’t think I was too aware of my foreign status. cascias whose father, although their country. isolating and full of uncertainty, putting tributed to the person I've become today; it wasand because were living in capital cities expat a strain onMaybe friendships forcingwe young understanding thatwith perhaps ourcommuapproach now retired, served as a diploor because we cultural attended international schools, or just one. because we people to nities, adapt quickly to new may not be the optimum environments andlasting languages. formed friendships with locals, but after a short breaking-in period mat for his country. what life lessons could be learned each new place became a new home. in which countries did your parents from being the child of an ambassaGrowing up in Europe also shaped the way I think, speak and behave. Today serve? dor? I feel like an outsider when I’m in Pakistan, while western and northern Belgium (where I was born ), USA, DenLife as a son of a diplomat is a very feel familiar and comfortable. mark, the Europe Netherlands, Czech republic. privileged one – and can at times be One should one's What life lessons could be learnedsuperficial. from being the childmeasure of a diplomat? what country did they represent? words prior to voicing them to avoid any One of the skills I picked up is knowing which friendships are worth holding Portugal. misinterpretation. on to. I have a South African friend from Berne who I saw in 2007 and

At the residence in Vienna with pets. The white dog is Milou, the black dog Wamrong, the sable dog Rewa and the cat is Limpi

then not until 2014, when I was doing an internship in Cape Town. When we what years were they active? who is the most famous person you reconnected it was as if no time had passed at all. Antonio’s father was Portugal’s ambassahave shaken hands with? I also learned howtoto1991. adapt to new Meeting places and navigate newjuliana cities quickly, dor to Denmark from 1986 Queen Mother of

Orange-Nassau her husband how to grasp the basics of a new language, and howand to connect withPrince people Did you ever your parents fromaccompany different cultural backgrounds.Bernhard – their warmth and humanity were visible during that encounter. And abroad? if so, what was it like to be a I learned how to pick up and build a new life with each move and Life as the child of a diplomat can be isolat- foreignerFinally, josé ramos-Horta – at the time, his there? each new city – a lesson which served me well approach tolater. achieving independence in ing and full of uncertainty, putting a strain on It was a great experience living abroad. Eastfrom Timoryour through I didn't feel like a foreigner, yet naturally What is the best story you remember timenon-violence abroad? and the friendships and forcing young people to adapt people's self-determination was inspiraabsorbed different cultures and lifestyles, My favourite story involves a little bit of xenophobia but has a happy ending. quickly to new cultural environments and tional. Later, he was awarded the Nobel with respect for the views voiced. LearnBefore we moved to Berne, Ayeshajan and I made our mum promise that we Peace Prize. ing the basics of the local languages and languages. would get a dog as soon as possible. At the Berne animal shelter we fell in making friends of diverse background love with Pedro, a cocker spaniel puppy. In which countries did your parents serve?

life as a son of a My dad served as ambassador is in Oslo 2001-2006. He then diplomat afrom very served in Vienna from 2006-2009. Before I was born, he’d served in one – Hungaryprivileged and Mexico. can inat times My mumand was ambassador Berne from 2003-2006. She then served as ambassador in Copenhagen from 2006-2013. Before I be superficial. was born she’d served in the United States.

“We don’t adopt to foreigners,” came the prompt reply. “You always dump your animals when you get a new post.” Despite my mum’s best efforts they wouldn't budge. Next stop was the Geneva shelter, and soon we were driving home with Milou, a bouncy brown and white mongrel puppy with floppy ears and melting brown eyes. While the shelter did tell us that Milou had been returned twice, they failed to mention that he was also aggressive and incredibly hyperactive.

What country did they represent?

We ended up in the waiting room of a veterinarian and dog psychologist who

They both worked for the Pakistani Foreign Service.

gave my mum two options: put him down, or get ready to invest in intense

During which years were they active? My dad joined in 1974 and retired in 2009, my mum in 1978 before retiring in 2013.

training. My sister and I were outside with Milou and my mother told the vet: “We wanted this other puppy from the shelter in Berne but they said no. We ended up getting Milou with no idea of his past and this is what I’ve ended up with; the girls are too attached to him.”

Did you accompany your parents overseas? If so, what was it

The vet then admitted that it was her decision to stop us adopting Pedro. “I

like to be a foreigner there?

can see now that I made a mistake, I’m sorry,” she told us.

I was born in Geneva while my mother was working there. She took

With the help of a dog breeder we calmed Milou down and worked on his

a break in 1995 and joined my dad in The Hague where my sister

aggression. After being part of our family since May 2003 and moving with

Ayeshajan was born. We all moved to Islamabad in 1997. In 2001,

us from Berne to Copenhagen to Islamabad (with summers spent in Vienna),

when my dad got his first ambassadorial posting, my sister and I

Milou died at the age of 14 in December 2016 – a happy, much-loved dog.

stayed in Islamabad while mum waited for her first posting, which came in 2003. Graduating from the English college in Prague 30 30

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Cphpost diplomacy issue4 web  
Cphpost diplomacy issue4 web