Denmark could be first country to name a 'digital ambassador'

Denmark could soon be the first country in the world to appoint what it calls a digital ambassador, saying that tech giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft now have more economic strength and influence than many countries it has traditional ties with.

File photo of Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen. (Photo: AFP/dpa/Kay Nietfeld)

"These companies have become a kind of new nation, and we have to deal with that," Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told Danish daily Politiken.

The foreign minister pointed to a report that showed the market value of Apple and Google were so large that if the companies were nations, they would almost qualify to be included in the G20 – the world's 20 largest economies.

"We will of course maintain our old way of thinking, in which we foster relationships with other countries. But we simply need to have closer ties to some of the companies that affect us," Samuelsen said.

Marianne Dahl Steensen, CEO of Microsoft's Danish branch welcomed the announcement but told Politiken: "We represent an industry and can hardly be equated with a nation."

The ambassador has yet to be named.

Source CNA/ AFP