As part of a delegation headed by the Danish Crown Prince Couple, COWI participates in the promotion of Danish business interests at the convent ‘Liveable Scandinavia’ in Stockholm, 29-30 May. The purpose is to promote Danish-Swedish business relations.
How do we handle the current challenges in society and urban areas using innovative, sustainable and intelligent solutions?
This question will be the main focus of the trade delegation during the two-day visit, the purpose of which is to strengthen Danish business relations with Sweden.
Not only is the objective to further promote Danish exports to Sweden, Denmark’s second largest export market, but the delegation also aims to support a common Scandinavian position as the global frontrunner within sustainable urban solutions.
COWI has been present in the Swedish market since 2008 and today has more than 1,000 employees in Sweden of which most are located in the geographical and financial centres of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
The physical presence is simply crucial to our success. Rasmus Ødum, COO at COWI and participating delegate, explains:
"Sweden is a central part of COWI’s Scandinavian home market, which is why we aim for massive presence, and our goal is to be among the best in the consultancy business within all our core disciplines. This is also why we are investing in Sweden."
Most recently COWI acquired the Stockholm-based company Projektbyrån specialising in project management.
"With this acquisition we have strengthened our position in the capital of Sweden, which represents 60 per cent of the total Swedish consultancy market," Ødum says.
COWI sees the business convent as a good opportunity to display COWI’s collective expertise that is often used across borders on the specific projects.
Pär Hammarberg, managing director of COWI Sverige and also participating in the business convent, has a positive view on COWI’s development in Sweden:
"As such, today we do not have the same position in the Swedish market as in Denmark. However, we are winning more and more large urbanisation and infrastructure projects in Sweden because of our ability to set the right teams across sectors and geographic boundaries," says Hammerberg.
Most recently, COWI won the large urban development project Östlig Förbindelse (the Eastern Connection), which is completing the ring road around Stockholm. Another example is the infrastructure project Västlänken (the Western Link) in Gothenburg including the construction of an underground station and a railway tunnel.
“Urbanisation is a massive growth engine. In 2016, COWI’s turnover in Sweden grew by 10 per cent and this growth rate is expected to continue during the remainder of our current strategy period onwards to 2020. Growth must take place both organically and via new acquisitions," says Hammarberg.
Not only Sweden has a large potential for sustainable urban solutions. Global urbanisation and climate changes are putting pressure on cities creating an international demand for competences for which Scandinavia have managed to build a strong brand.
"Undoubtedly, we will have a stronger position, individually and together, on the global market if we manage to combine our knowledge and ideas to an even greater extent," says Rasmus Ødum.
More than 60 Danish companies will be participating and the Swedish Crown Prince Couple will be present during parts of the programme. During the business convent HRH The Crown Prince will visit, among other things, Stockholm Vatten och Avfall and Spotify, while HRH The Crown Princess will visit Nya Karolinska Sjukhuset, Illums Bolighus and Aleris Plejehjem.
The business convent is divided into three sector tracks. Each track covers specific challenges and focuses on Denmark's contribution to the ’Liveable Scandinavia’ of the future. Today, Danish companies are already recognised in Sweden for their intelligent solutions for various community challenges in Denmark.
The three tracks are: