Benchmarking Report 2015

18 December 2015

Europe at a Glance

The 2015 edition of the Benchmarking Report takes stock of the economic reality and tracks progress towards a competitive industry in areas identified as key for Europe: competitiveness, energy/climate, the digital economy, employment/skills and trade/investment.

If we are to lay the foundations of our future competitiveness and prosperity, Europe must offer an attractive environment for investment to maintain a vibrant and innovative manufacturing base in Europe

Kurt Bock - BASF
Kurt Bock
Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE

The report highlights the strengths of the European Union which are recognised worldwide. The Union is indeed the first economic power in terms of trade. We are also a top economy in terms of wealth creation. Our work force is highly educated and skilled. Our sophisticated products and services are appreciated for their quality. Last but not least, we also benefit from political stability provided by democracy and rule of law. Industry remains the backbone of the European economy, notably in terms of exports and R&D.

However, a certain number of imbalances could jeopardise our future. Markets and legal frameworks in Europe are still highly fragmented. Unemployment is high. We do not sufficiently invest in innovation and new technologies. Other regions of the world are already implementing strong industrial policies, including energy and competition policies that serve their strategic interests. Global competitors are rapidly expanding the digitisation of their economies, with increases in innovation and productivity expected to follow.

As a result, growth is taking place outside Europe. Thus, European leaders need to take action to ensure that Europe stays a top business location.