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Business Dynamics, Business Statistics
Alina Grecu
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International organisation and outsourcing

The survey has been carried out intermittently a number of times since 2007. The purpose of the survey is to establish data on the engagement of enterprises in global value chains and international outsourcing, motives and barriers related to international sourcing and the types of functions and number of jobs being moved out of Denmark as a consequence of enterprises' international sourcing. The survey covers international sourcing, international trade (purchasing and selling goods and services) directly with enterprises abroad, the organisation by business functions within the enterprise in Denmark, and the impact from COVID-19 on selected aspects of business operation.

Data description

The statistics measures the number and share of enterprises outsourcing activities to other countries. International sourcing in this context refers to the movement out of Denmark of activities currently performed in-house by the enterprise itself in Denmark, or currently domestically sourced by the enterprise. International sourcing may be to other enterprises within the enterprise group or to other (external) enterprises abroad. International sourcing does not include the expansion of activities where no existing activities are moved. In addition to breakdowns by industry, the survey provides data on the types of business functions being sourced. This may be the enterprises' core business function (typically corresponding to the industry of the enterprise) or a support function. Furthermore, the survey provides results on the geographical destinations of international sourcing, as well as the number of jobs being moved. These are broken down by high-skilled and other jobs, in addition to industry. Finally, the motives for international sourcing are covered, e.g. reduction of labour costs or reduced delivery times.

In addition, the survey also includes questions concerning enterprises' international purchasing and selling of goods and services, respectively, directly from enterprises abroad, and the importance of COVID-19 for different parts of the enterprise.

The survey is part of a European survey, partly financed by Eurostat, on the engagement of enterprises in global value chains and international outsourcing.

Classification system

Industry (NACE rev.2).

Sector coverage

The statistics covers non-agricultural, market-based activities, the economic activities of DB07: 05-09, 10-33, 35, 36-39, 41-43, 45-47, 49-53, 55-56, 58-63, 64-66, 68, 69-75 and 77-82.

Statistical concepts and definitions

International sourcing: Covers the total or partial movement of activity (core or support functions) carried out in Denmark.

Core function: The core business function of your enterprise is the production of goods or services intended for the market, and which constitutes the enterprise’s primary function. The core function in most cases corresponds to the enterprise’s industry or main activity

Support functions: Support functions (ancillary activities) are carried out in support of your enterprise’s core activity. The output of the support functions are not intended for the market/for third parties.

High-skill jobs: High-skill jobs are jobs requiring staff performing specialist functions. These are e.g. jobs requiring an academic background, management jobs or technical jobs. These jobs typically require a higher education.

Statistical unit

Legal units

Statistical population

The population is enterprises with 50 or more employees, in market-based activities outside the primary sector. The survey also covers enterprises within manufacturing and knowledge services with 20-49 employees.

Reference area


Time coverage


Base period

Not relevant for these statistics.

Unit of measure

Number of jobs, number of persons employed, number of enterprises

Reference period

The survey covers the period 2018-2020 concerning international sourcing. In relation to the number of employees by business functions within the Danish enterprise, the information relates to end of 2020. Questions related to COVID-19 and international direct trade with enterprises abroad refer to the calendar year 2020.

Frequency of dissemination

The survey has so far been carried out for the periods 2001-2006, 2009-2011, 2014-2016, and 2018-2020. In the future, the survey will be carried out every three years.

Legal acts and other agreements

Law on Statistics Denmark. In the future, the survey will be carried out every three years under the EU regulation (2019/2152) on European business statistics.

Cost and burden

No measure of response burden is available.


More information can be obtained from Statistics Denmark.