HRH the Crown Prince’s speech at the Grand Opening of the Business Conference at Villa Miani

Offentliggjort den 7. november 2018.

Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Benvenuti a tutti

First of all, let me say that I am deeply saddened to learn the tragic news of the lives lost and the serious damages in numerous regions of Italy - from North to South - due to the recent floods and storms. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families and express my sympathy to those who were affected.

It is indeed an honour to welcome you all to this Grand Opening of the Danish Royal visit to Italy – and it is an immense pleasure to visit the beautiful city of Rome, where the past and the present exist side by side in the most unique and natural way. On a personal note, Rome also represents the past and present for me, as it was here that I asked for my wife’s hand in marriage. 

But, we cannot talk about the past and the present without thinking about the future.  This visit is also about the future; about future prospects that are to be explored by our two nations and by Italian and Danish companies.

The facts speak for themselves. Italy is the second most popular destination for Danes when we travel abroad. We are attracted to Italy for obvious reasons; culture, cuisine, climate, Italy’s nature and rich history. For centuries, Danish artists, craftsmen and business travellers have flocked to Italy in their search for inspiration, knowledge and romance.

Thorvaldsen and Hans Christian Andersen are just a couple of examples of famous Danes who travelled to Italy to be inspired, and today, they continue to symbolise what attracts Danes to Italy.

The attraction remains strong and this is further demonstrated by the solid bilateral relations between Italy and Denmark. Our nations share similar values – and we work together on many levels and within many fields, including our cooperation within a number of international organisations.

The leading innovative companies of our two countries share common ambitions and are continuously striving towards state-of-the-art solutions to complicated challenges – and to do this, partnerships are essential. Not only cross-border partnerships but also cross-continental partnerships between the Northern and Southern parts of Europe.

The Crown Princess and I are proud to lead a delegation of 36 Danish companies. These companies each represent excellence within the three sector tracks of this visit; Healthcare, Urban & Cleantech and Food & Beverages. Three sectors where Italian and Danish competences are strongly positioned and where there are room and potential for further development cooperation.

Danes are familiar with large scale projects managed by Italians – a couple of obvious examples, include; the metro system in Copenhagen and the building of bridges connecting the islands of Denmark. Impressive projects that affirm Italy’s position in a variety of fields.

These are examples of important transport infrastructure for Denmark.  But we are also known as cycling nation. For many, cycling covers the transportation needs of daily life which at the same time supports a healthier lifestyle and contributes to a greener environment.

We are known to be reliable and commercially prudent business partners. According to the World Bank, Denmark is ranked in the top three countries of the world when it comes to ease of doing business.

This brings me to the headline of our visit: ‘Italy – We Think Business’. When we say that, we think of the already established collaboration and commercial partnerships, and we think of the potential to further increase the close links between our companies and countries.

I hope that today’s guests from Italy will continue to think ‘business and opportunities’ when thinking of Denmark!

I believe that this visit will reinforce existing and see the creation of new partnerships between our countries to the benefit of both Italy and Denmark.

I wish you all an inspiring day of seminars and dialogue, and I look forward to meeting as many as possible, during our time here in Rome.

Grazie mille.