COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A feared wave of protectionism could undermine economic growth in Denmark, one of the countries most dependent on international trade, its new economy minister said on Monday.
“It is our single largest concern when it comes to the global economy,” Simon Emil Ammitzboll told Reuters in the office he moved into two weeks ago when his Liberal Alliance party joined the government.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s victory could be omens of a global tendency, a report from his ministry concluded on Monday.
“We are concerned with the trend we see around the world, that politicians are saying they will close access to their markets further and introduce protectionist policies,” he said.
The government on Monday downgraded its forecast for export growth this year and next to 0.6 percent and 2.4 percent, from earlier forecasts of 1.0 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.
Falling global trade has especially hit Denmark’s shipping sector. It is home to Maersk Line (MAERSKb.CO), the world’s largest container carrier.
“It is important that ... we work for free international trade and to keep down protectionism,” Ammitzboll said.
He said that the greatest domestic challenge was to avoid labour force bottlenecks in coming years.
Editing by Andrew Roche