European competitiveness report 2014
Helping firms grow
As the EU economy gradually recovers from the longest and deepest recession in post-war history, the 2014 edition of the European Competitiveness Report focuses on firms’ growth – in particular a number of growth-enhancing measures and framework conditions affecting EU firms. These include the availability of different forms of funding, which is especially important if small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are to expand, as well as the importance of having an efficient and modern public administration as part of the institutional set-up. One chapter examines how innovation – another... important driver of growth – varies over the business cycle and how the impact of innovation on firms’ growth also varies. A final chapter related to firms’ growth looks at the extent to which SMEs are active outside their home markets, the forms of their international presence, the impact and drivers of SME internationalisation, and what can be done to increase their presence abroad. This year’s edition also contains a chapter on energy costs and energy efficiency. Rising energy costs have dented the competitiveness of EU manufacturing industries, especially energy-intensive industries. To some extent, manufacturers have been able to mitigate the effect of rising energy prices through higher energy efficiency, but the scope for further efficiency gains narrows as firms become more energy efficient. This chapter also assesses the importance of energy costs in relation to other costs, across manufacturing generally, as well as in energy-intensive industries such as steel, aluminium, ceramics and chemicals.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (European Commission) - Now known as... - Now known as... Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (European Commission) Themes: Trade — Competition, Enterprise policy
- Subject: activity report, competitiveness, EU industrial policy, industrial enterprise, industrial manufacturing, innovation, productivity, research and development, small and medium-sized enterprises
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