EIB study finds need for more company investment in R&D in CESEE
The European Investment Bank (EIB) published the 2016 issue of its annual EU-wide survey on investment and investment finance on 26 May 2017 in Bratislava. The survey for 2016 focused on the investment environment in Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe (CESEE), and covered 4,881 firms in 11 countries. According to the report, the investment outlook in CESEE is positive in general, but companies need to invest more in state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, and in research and development.
The survey findings indicate that despite the fact that the share of companies investing in the region in 2015 was below the EU average, corporate investment activity was particularly strong in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Croatia, standing above or at the EU average. The outlook was positive overall, with almost all countries in the region showing more firms expanding investment plans in 2016, rather than scaling them back. The strongest investment expectations for 2016 were in Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, while the weakest expected investment activity was in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.
Compared to the EU as a whole, firms in the CESEE countries invest more in relative terms into tangibles (i.e. machinery, equipment, land, buildings, etc.) and lag behind in R&D investment. This could negatively affect the efforts of the firms to move to higher value-added production in the medium term, particularly given the fact that firms in the CESEE region lag behind the EU as a whole in terms of productivity.
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