Europe’s leading businesses have now returned to growth and are focused on expanding their global reach, according to research by the European Business Awards, sponsored by HSBC. The research found that the next three to six months will see one in four businesses enter a new market, while 20% of companies will launch a new product or service.
More than 500 European businesses across 32 markets, ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to major corporates, took part in the survey, representing the newly created ‘EBA Excellence Panel’. Made up of the continent’s leading businesses, which have previously been recognised by the European Business Awards, the panel will offer biannual insights into the performance of European businesses.
The survey found that businesses were optimistic about the strength of Europe to compete globally, with almost half (48%) of all respondents identifying Europe’s skills, talent and research and development (R&D) capability as the biggest opportunity for European businesses as a driving force of economic growth.
John Casey, HSBC head of commercial banking, continental Europe, said: “There is much cause for optimism across the continent. Europe’s leading businesses are expanding in both developing and emerging markets, with a significant percentage launching new products and services. The shift to a knowledge-based economy continues apace and European businesses are responding with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.
A significant number of businesses identified the emerging economies of Asia, South America and eastern Europe as the greatest opportunities for growth (46%). However, the panel also highlighted that developing effective growth strategies to bring these opportunities to life is of paramount importance, with 42% of businesses identifying this as the key challenge. A further 20% of businesses see the growth of emerging markets as a significant challenge as a source of competition.
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