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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Cartoons row hits Danish exports
Danish flag burned in Pakistan in a protest over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in February 2006
Denmark bore the brunt of Muslim anger over the cartoons
Danish exports to Muslim countries have been hit hard by a row over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, officials in Denmark say.

A Muslim boycott of Danish goods led to a 15.5% drop in total exports between February and June. Trade to the Middle East fell by half, statistics show.

An industry chief said there was little doubt the cartoons row was to blame.

Publication of the cartoons in a Danish newspaper in September 2005 sparked mass protests among Muslims worldwide.

In January, Muslims in a number of countries were urged to show their anger with unofficial boycotts of Danish goods.

Incomplete picture

National statistics show that exports to Denmark's main market in the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, fell by 40% following the boycott, while those to Iran - its third largest market - fell by 47%.

Exports to Libya, Syria, Sudan and Yemen also suffered big falls.

The cost to Danish businesses was around 134 million euros ($170m), when compared with the same period last year, the statistics showed.

Food companies, particularly those selling dairy products, were among the worst affected.

"There is little doubt that this is a result of the caricatures crisis," Peter Thagesen, head consultant of Denmark's industry federation, Dansk Industri, was quoted by the Ritzau news agency as saying.

"This is serious for the affected businesses," he added.

Dansk Industri said it would still be some time before a complete picture emerged of how much the boycott had cost the country.




SEE ALSO
Muslim cartoon row timeline
19 Feb 06 |  Middle East
Q&A: The Muhammad cartoons row
07 Feb 06 |  Special Reports
Viewpoints: Cartoon row
03 Feb 06 |  Europe

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