To understand how seriously Denmark takes Silicon Valley, the European nation’s new ambassador to the technology sector is coming here after a posting to Indonesia, a country with a GDP approaching a trillion dollars and a population of 261 million.
Casper Klynge is the world’s first official ambassador to a tech sector, and he’ll set up his embassy in August, according to a new report.
He will, in the words of one famous-though-fictional Danish prince, concern himself with “enterprises of great pith and moment” — Apple, Google, Facebook and other major engines of economic growth and international trade headquartered in the valley.
“The companies are increasingly becoming almost superpowers on a global scale,” Klynge told news provider McClatchy.
It is the power of Big Tech that is bringing a Danish ambassador here, according to McClatchy.
“The high-tech firms have economic clout, but also a voice on global issues like climate change and the fight against terrorism,” the news service reported.
“Throw in concerns about cybersecurity and privacy, and some nations see the high-tech behemoths as approaching something akin to sovereign status.”
While Europe is, to say the least, wary of Silicon Valley’s pithy and momentous enterprises — witness the EU’s recent $2.7 billion fine against Google over anti-competition issues and ongoing European concerns about U.S. tech companies’ privacy practices — Klynge maintained that his position will be focused on positive relationships.
“This is not an initiative out of tech fear,” he said. “On the contrary, it’s an initiative that builds upon a basis that technology and innovation and digital solutions bring new opportunities to the world.”
An embassy staff of five or six will support Klynge’s work, he said, adding that the embassy would operate beside a Danish innovation center — presumably Innovation Center Denmark, a Danish government facility on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto.
“We will also be dealing with the Alibabas of China, or the tech start-up environment in Tel Aviv or the small start-ups in Nairobi,” Klynge said.
“So we’ll be on the road quite a lot but with a core base in Silicon Valley.”
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks in front of a rendering of the company’s new “spaceship” headquarters during a product launch event Monday morning, March 21, 2016, at Apple in Cupertino. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Tags: Apple, Casper Klynge, Denmark, facebook, Google