Once essentially an agricultural country and still possessing a visibly rural landscape, Denmark after 1945 greatly expanded its industrial base so that by 2006 industry contributed about 25% of the gross domestic product and agriculture less than 2% (Denmark's other traditional industries of fishing and shipbuilding have also declined). Financial and other services, trade, transportation, and communications are also important.
The main commodities raised are livestock (pigs, cattle, and poultry), root crops (potatoes and sugar beets), and cereals (barley, wheat, and oats). There is a large fishing industry, and Denmark possesses a commercial shipping fleet of considerable size. The leading industries include food processing (especially meat and dairy goods) and shipbuilding and the manufacture of iron and steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, furniture and other wood products, windmills, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. Metal products are made almost entirely from imported raw materials, as Denmark has scant mineral resources. Tourism is also a substantial industry.
Denmark's main exports are processed foods, agricultural and industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and windmills; the chief imports are machinery and equipment, raw materials, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, and consumer goods. The country's leading trade partners are Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, and other European Union countries.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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