Western European production of hi-tech goods demonstrated strong results in 2017, benefitting from optimistic global economic trends during the year. The region further cemented its position as the global advanced goods production hub, with numerous opportunities rising in industrial, electric vehicles, Internet of Things and other fields. Forecasts for the industry, nevertheless, are turning out to be more pessimistic due to rising political uncertainty and slowing European economies.
In 2017, Western European hi-tech goods production continued increasing, and showed one of the best performances of recent years. Strengthening global economies, rising positivity and increasing investments were the primary growth drivers. Nevertheless, challenges are rising at both political and economic levels, likely limiting the industry’s growth in coming years.
Germany, having the strongest manufacturing base in the continent, is expected to lead growth over 2017-2030 and account for 69% of the region’s growth over this period. The country has it all to make the largest impact on the region’s industry’s expansion: strong industrial companies, know-how, innovation funding, and qualified labour skills.
Western European countries will increase focus on an innovative product portfolio, such as industrial applications thanks to the emerging fourth industrial revolution, and electric vehicle components due to electric cars preparing to take over conventional cars. This creates perfect conditions for the hi-tech industry to trigger growth once again.
The competitive landscape remains relatively fragmented, although some categories distinguish with larger concentration. The competition is likely to consolidate in future, due to necessity for large-scale investments and rising global competition with Asian producers.
Hi-tech goods trade in Western Europe saw a strong year in 2017, thanks to positive global economic outlook. European companies increasingly seek to boost their international presence due to the region’s often unconvincing economic development, and manufacturing potential further shifting eastwards.
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