Denmark has a diverse, mixed economy, but one that relies almost entirely on human resources, as there are few mineral resources available, except mature oil and gas wells in the North Sea.Cooperatives form a large part of some sectors, be it in housing, agriculture or retail. Foundations play a large role as owners of private sector companies. Denmark’s nominal GDP was estimated to be $333,238 million, the 32nd largest in the world. It has the world’s lowest level of income inequality, according to the World Bank Gini (%), and the world’s highest minimum wage, according to the IMF. As of June 2010 the unemployment rate is at 7.4%, which is below the EU average of 9.6%. As of 28 February 2014 Denmark is among the countries with the highest credit rating.
Denmark’s main exports are: industrial production/manufactured goods 73.3% (of which machinery and instruments were 21.4%, and fuels, chemicals, etc. 26%); agricultural products and others for consumption 18.7% (in 2009 meat and meat products were 5.5% of total export; fish and fish products 2.9%). Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has since the 1990s had abalance of payments surplus. There is no net foreign debt as other countries owe more money to Denmark than Denmark owes to them, but because of large deficits due to increased unemployment levels the central government has increased its debt level since the end of September 2008, when it stood at 21 percent (gross debt) of GDP, according to the central bank – in accordance with theEurostat EMU– gross debt numbers, which only take liabilities into account. (See below (Budgets)). Taking assets into account as well net debt of the central government was 11 percent. Within theEuropean Union, Denmark advocates a liberal trade policy. Its standard of living is average among the Western European countries – and for many years the most equally distributed as shown by the Gini coefficient – in the world, and the Danes devote 0.8% of Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid. It is a society based on consensus (dialogue and compromise) with the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Danish Employers in 1899 inSeptemberforliget (The September Settlement) recognising each other’s right to organise, thus, negotiate. The employer’s right to hire and fire their employees whenever they find it necessary is recognised. There is no official minimum wage (Danish: minimumsløn) set by the government; the minimum of wages (Danish: mindsteløn) is determined by negotiations between the organisations of employers and employees. Denmark produces oil, natural gas, wind- and bio-energy. Its principal exports are machinery, instruments and food products. The US is Denmark’s largest non-European trading partner, accounting for around 5% of total Danish merchandise trade. Aircraft, computers, machinery, and instruments are among the major US exports to Denmark. Among major Danish exports to the U.S. are industrial machinery, chemical products, furniture, pharmaceuticals, Lego and canned ham and pork.