We are much stronger when we work together. There´s a huge potential to tap into when we make the effort to collaborate and take advantage of each other in creation of improved business relationships.
All foreigners in Spain, including myself, appreciate the country. Otherwise why should we come for holiday or live here with our families?
My main purpose for currently basing my career in the country is to create mutual gains with our Scandinavian and Spanish partners. Fortunately a growing number of professional people think the same way!
Qualified people come from various countries to join the community and base their life and work here. This is enriching because everyone brings their ‘own business’ with possibility to expand.
5 examples of potential synergies between North & South of Europe, more specifically Scandinavia and Spain.
1) Local knowledge and training in gourmet, fine wines and service could be inspired from other parts of the world, such as the Nordic countries where attention to detail is the competitive edge.
For example our Danish Capital, Copenhagen, has a high density of michelin star restaurants. It has almost become a national sport to constantly strive to increase the level of fine food (and fine wines) and as a result we have some of the best restaurants in the world of which Noma is the most famous one as the restaurant was nominated best worldwide three times. In Copenhagen we even have “gourmet tourism” so people travel from all over the world to have fine dinners, guided food tours and unique experiences in
This beautiful restaurant places itself in the top of the world of gourmet in terms of its innovation and experimentation it’s second to none.
Actually the most recent winner as the best restaurant in the world is a restaurant based in Barcalona. Previously, elBulli, a Michelin 3-star restaurant near the town of Roses in Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferran Adrià, was also ranked in the absolute top.
So we can be proud that both Denmark and Spain are extraordinary and in the world elite of gourmet but with two complimentary mindsets which reveals an inspiring potential..
On the wine front, living in Spain, I have to mention that our Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck has meant a revolution for Spanish wine. He made biodynamic principles and a radical understanding of low yield production into Spanish wine production.
Sisseck is the producer of the most expensive of all Spanish wines, the legendary Pingus. Pingus is produced in Ribera del Duero but people cue up in China and USA to get hold on the wine when it is released.
Now new wines are coming from Peter Sisseck’s hand. He works as a consultant to several wineries in Spain and recently fulfilled an old dream: Sisseck who grew up with the best French wines, bought a piece of land in Bordeaux and started making wine in one of the most renowned French wine regions.
Pingus is traded on Liv-ex 100 as one of the most sought-after wines in the world so it is also an investment wine for the cellar.
Movie recommendation about wine and investment: “A Good Year” featuring Russel Crowe.
In Marbella there is an audience that values access to the highest quality in fine food and wines which are precious as vintages only become smaller over the years causing a long-term increase in price.
2) Rational & well-organised systems accelerating efficiency and growth potential.
Systems in the North are some of the leading globally.
The bureaucracy also exists there but we have good organisation making the countries efficient and everyday life easier.
Spain has huge potential, it’s a country in significant growth and one of the most attractive places to live in Europe.
An improvement of the systems would put Spain in an extremely strong competitive position globally.
There are multiple firms within systems and IT development in Scandinavia. IT is one of our biggest advantages and rational systems improve conditions for everyone.
A closer relationship between Scandinavia and Spain in the future would be mutually beneficial.
3) In the labour market there seem to be some challenges due to lack of mutual trust.
In Scandinavia the labour market is highly regulated and standard contracts establish standard conditions creating very solid reference points to manage the unexpected. In some cases simple things tend to become more complicated than they actually are in the South. A collaboration with the Nordic countries would be beneficial.
On the other side I have to say that the police in Scandinavia should come to Spain for 12 months training camps in “practising firmness” as that is unfortunately the weakest point of Scandinavia…
4) Language capabilities and direct communication is critical and the English level could be higher among some Spanish people, especially the young should be fluent which they are today. At the same time the Spanish level among foreigners, including myself, should improve! This will make everything more efficient. I will take my own medicine and go back to Spanish classes!
In school I learned English, Latin, French and German (besides the Scandinavian languages) but unfortunately never Spanish so I lack the academic discipline.
When the Germans come for Summer holiday in the Western part of Denmark they expect us to reply in German and we do…after all only 5 million people speak Danish forcing us to be flexible and practise several languages from childhood.
5) Scandinavia and Spain in collaboration has huge growth potential.
Collaborating across languages and cultural barriers is extremely powerful and I know Spanish people who are able to do this for example with the Arabs but I hope that the synergy will develop further between the South and the North of Europe and I will be the first to help on both sides. I believe I have the right experience and contacts to help.
Apart we are strong but together we could be invincible!
/Martin Juncher Jensen