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    Unlocking Economic Growth: Disparities in Intangible Asset Investments Across EU

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Investments in intangible assets within the European Union constitute a smaller proportion of overall investments, with Poland ranking among the countries investing the least in such assets, according to data published in a report by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lead in intangible asset investments, though a nuanced analysis suggests caution in interpreting these results.

    Varied Intangible Asset Investments in EU

    The EIB report reveals that, on average, investments in intangible assets among EU firms account for 38% of all investments. However, countries like Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia invest approximately 20% of their total investments in intangible assets, contrasting with leaders such as Ireland and Denmark, where intangible assets constitute over 40% of investments.

    Regional Disparities in Investment Trends

    With exceptions, countries in central and northern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Germany, and France, lead in intangible asset investments. Conversely, countries in Central-Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary), Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria), and Southern Europe (Portugal, Greece) lag behind.

    SMEs Outpace Large Corporations

    Contrary to the overall trend, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) outpace large corporations in intangible asset investments, particularly in employee training and software/database expenses.

    Nuanced Analysis and Technological Adoption

    While the EIB results align with a PIE study indicating higher intangible asset investments by medium-sized enterprises in 2022, larger corporations lead in fundamental areas like research and development expenditures. Moreover, advanced technology adoption is notably higher among large firms, with 50% utilizing multiple technologies compared to 33% of SMEs.

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