Now industry needs to seize globalization opportunities is the main conclusion of the European Commission's 2012 Competitivenss report. EU exports area powerful driver of recovery, energy efficiency gains are seen in almost all Member States and the EU maintains its lead in inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI).
- EU exports: a powerful driver of recovery
While the effect of exports is generally very positive, their actual impact, however, differs from one EU country to another. Economies that cumulated significant economic imbalances in the pre-crisis period are undergoing painful adjustments and deleveraging processes. In the way out of the crisis, the drop in domestic demand cannot be fully offset by demand from outside the EU.
- Energy efficiency gains are seen in almost all Member States
The EU leads in reducing the domestic energy content of exports, outperforming the USA and Japan. The EU is also leading the internationalisation and cross-border flows of eco-investment and eco-innovations. Eco-innovating firms are, on the whole, more successful than conventional innovators.
The report provides new empirical confirmation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the EU's sustainable industrial policy and its importance for the overall competitiveness of European firms.
- The EU maintains its lead in inward and outward FDI
But the EU is losing some of its attractiveness as a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination. This is mainly due to a decline of intra-EU flows. Inflows from outside the EU are dominated by advanced economies (such as the US and Switzerland), but emerging economies are gaining relative weight. EU firms are the most important investors in the world.
The report finds that the major drivers of FDI inflows have been the European single market, the Euro and, in the case of west-east flows, cost advantages.