Eurochambres recently released the 27th edition of the Economic Survey which shows a less rosy picture compared to the last year. For this edition ca. 53,000 businesses (out of which 90% represents SMEs) participated in the survey carried out by Eurochambres and 28 national chambers of commerce and industry around Europe. According to the survey results 43% of interviewees identified domestic demand as one of the most pressing challenge for 2020. The second issue perceived as problematic by the interviewed entrepreneurs is the lack of skilled workers which is mainly due to the fact that the education system (at least in the surveyed countries) is not able to adequately respond to the needs of the fast-changing world we live in. Other expected challenges are: labour costs, prices of energy and raw materials, foreign demand, the impact of Brexit, financing conditions and exchange rates.
The publication also includes some policy recommendations that could contribute to overcome the challenges identified as the most urgent by SMEs. The “think small first” principle should be at the very centre of the EU trade policy making and of the Single Market regulation. Furthermore an SME-friendly legal framework should be ensured. Investments are also crucial to stimulate growth in future, in particular the ones in the digital sector could enable European SMEs to compete with very strong economies like China and the United States.
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