Summary of an article in Politiken that is based on Frederik's visit.
På arbejde med Kronprinsen: 20 minutters smalltalk åbner dørene - On the job with the Crown Prince: 20 minuttes of smalltalk open the doors.
Written by Elisabeth Astrup.
Kindly requested by Nordic
At some point during the visit Frederik was to sign a declaration about the co-operation between Denmark and Vietnam in regards to environmentally friendly technology.
And this is where Frederik in his capacity as a royal steps in. His job is to attract political and civil servant heavy weights. Something that is notoriously difficult for Danish companies on their own.
"Some Danes would call it smalltalk, but you should not underestimate it.
You cannot study for what I and my family are doing. It's about how to meet a person. That sort of things is face-to-face. And it's right down on the how is the mood level - is it good, is it strained"?
Nogle danskere vil kalde det her smalltalk, men man skal ikke undervurdere det«, forklarer kronprinsen om sin egen rolle.
Frederik is, on this his first day in Vietnam, to no less than four very highranking politicians and civil servants.
"It's of a big significanse that I am recieved individually by a vice president, a predsident, a foreign minister and a prime minister. That provides the opportunity for bilateral talks, as it is called. It's exciting and it's one of the first times, where I have travelled with a delegation, that there has so many different ministers on such a high level present. During the 20-30 minuttes of coversation we have, you can exchange more than just - welcome again - come back - and so on. I can also say something about the purpose of my visit this time and explain that we have something to offer from Denmark through our commerce".
From the article:
The mood in the room is solomn, but during the 20 minuttes the visits lasts, the protocol is eased a bit.
The Crown Prince does not read his speech aloud from a piece of paper. He states his points with gesticulating, sometimes with a laugh and a jovial remark. the President follow suit. And the Crown Prince says that he on behalf of his mother very much would like to invite the President on a statevisit to Denmark.
"There are several good restaurants in Copenhagen, which I will encourage the President to visit, adds the Crown Prince.
It's no coincidence that he extends the invitation at this occasion, explains Crown Prince Frederik later.
"It means a lot that the invitation is made in this way in front of others. That is noticed and noted by them".
About smalltalk, Frederik explains:
"It's obvious that you start out with polite and nice references. If you can then sense on your counterpart that you can open up the next box, that you can get closer to that person, and that you can break the protocol facades down a bit, and that you can tell that the counterpart thinks it's funny, that it is good. That can for example happen by me recalling an experience from a previous visit. Like with Vietnam, which I have always known a lot about therough my father's childhood in Norther Vietnam.
Where you can move on is by establishing some kind of connection. If you from a CV on a president or a foreign minister for example can see that he is particularly interested in a sport, which I also know something about, you can throw that into the conversation. Or if you know the region who the person in question is from, you can talk about that.
It can almost be about everything. It's about showing interest for the person you sit in front of and his country".
The man at the very top is Prime Minister Nguyen Tang Dun. He is a man who is know for a stickler of protocol. Yet Frederik soon reconnect and reestablish the good rapport between them from the visit in 2009.
And the conversation soon evolves into something cosy, as if between two mates having a chat and the PM repeatedly expresses his enthusiasm for the connections between Vietnam and Denmark, and the DRF too for that matter.
Frederik stays in the background during the subsequent talks, but his presence is felt. His job is to attract people of influence. Being a magnet.
"That about the magnet, yes, I think that's a good expression. It epitomize what I and my family can do for Denmark. Perhaps we also have a facillitator-effect, because we open some doors and draw some key figures. The exciting thing is of course for us to hear after three-six-nine months, whether it reinforced anything, and that I often think it does".