European Market

World's largest single market

The economy of Europe is a diverse and complex entity that is composed of the economies of more than 50 countries. Europe is a highly developed and industrialised region, and it is home to many of the world’s largest and most successful companies.

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 European countries that has played a significant role in shaping the economic landscape of the region.

The EU is the world’s largest single market and has a GDP of more than $17.9 trillion. It is also home to some of the world’s most technologically advanced and innovative economies, such as Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Other major European economies include France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.

Overall, the European economy is characterized by a high level of economic integration, with countries in the region trading goods and services with each other and with other regions of the world. The EU has also played a leading role in promoting economic cooperation and integration within Europe through initiatives such as the euro currency and the creation of a single market for goods, services, and capital.

However, the European economy has faced challenges in recent years, including slow economic growth, high levels of debt, and rising unemployment. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the European economy, leading to a sharp contraction in economic activity in many countries. Despite these challenges, the European economy remains a major contributor to global economic growth and is likely to continue to play a significant role in the global economy in the future.

Countries with the highest Contribution

Here is a list of the top 10 European countries by GDP in 2022, based on data from the International Monetary Fund →  (IMF):


It’s important to note that GDP is just one way to measure the size and strength of an economy, and there are other factors that can impact a country’s economic performance.

It’s also worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the economies of many countries in 2020, and this is likely to have affected GDP in some countries. The pandemic led to a sharp contraction in economic activity in many countries due to measures taken to control the spread of the virus, such as lockdowns and restrictions on travel and commerce.

Industries with the highest Contribution

The EU is a major contributor to the economic output of the continent, with some of the largest and most economically significant countries in the region, such as Germany, France and Italy.

However, there are also many non-EU countries in Europe that contribute to the continent’s GDP, such as the the United Kingdom, Russia and Switzerland.
Below is a breakdown of the top industries in the EU by their contribution to GDP in 2021, according to data from the European Union →:

  • Services: 72.4 % of GDP
  • Industry: 20.1 % of GDP
  • Construction: 5.6 % of GDP
  • Agriculture: 1.8 % of GDP


In 2020, the EU’s leading trade partners for services were the United States →, the United Kingdom and Switzerland:

  • 20.2 % of services exported from the EU were destined for the United Kingdom
  • 20.1% were destined for the United States
  • 11.6% were destined for Switzerland


By contrast, the highest share (29.8 %) of services imported into the EU from non-member countries originated in the United States, while a somewhat lower share was recorded for the United Kingdom (18.4 %).

IT Industry

The information technology (IT) industry in Europe is constantly evolving, with new trends and developments emerging all the time. Some of the key trends in the IT industry in Europe include:

  • Cloud computing: Cloud computing is a rapidly growing trend in Europe, with many companies in the region adopting cloud-based solutions for a range of business functions, including storage, data analytics, and software development.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): The IoT is a major trend in the IT industry in Europe, with a number of companies in the region specializing in IoT products and services. The EU is a leading region for the development and deployment of IoT technologies.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is a rapidly growing field in the IT industry, and Europe is home to a number of leading AI research centers and companies. The EU is also investing heavily in AI research and development through initiatives such as the European AI Alliance.
  • Cybersecurity: As more and more businesses and organizations in Europe adopt digital technologies, cybersecurity has become a major concern. There is a growing demand for cybersecurity solutions and services in the region.
  • Digital transformation: Many businesses and organizations in Europe are undergoing digital transformations, which involve the integration of digital technologies into all aspects of operations. This trend is driving demand for IT professionals with expertise in areas such as data analytics, cloud computing, and software development.

IT Industry challenges

Like any industry, the information technology (IT) industry in Europe faces a number of challenges and obstacles. Some of the key challenges facing the IT industry in Europe include:

  • Talent shortage: There is a shortage of skilled IT professionals in many parts of Europe, which can make it difficult for companies to find the talent they need to meet the demands of their businesses. This can lead to competition for top talent, and may drive up salaries and other costs for companies.
  • Regulation: The IT industry is subject to a range of regulations at the national and EU level, which can be complex and burdensome for companies to navigate. This can create challenges for companies that are trying to bring new products and services to market.
  • Cybersecurity: As more and more businesses and organisations in Europe adopt digital technologies, cybersecurity has become a major concern. Companies in the IT industry must ensure that their products and services are secure and that they are able to protect their customers’ data from cyber threats.
  • Competition: The IT industry is highly competitive, with many companies operating in the market. This can make it difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to capture market share.
  • Economic conditions: Economic conditions can have a significant impact on the IT industry in Europe. A recession or other economic downturn can lead to reduced demand for IT products and services, which can impact the financial performance of companies in the industry.

Pitfalls in accessing the European Market

There are some important characteristics of the European Market that you have to keep in mind if you want to grow your business here: Language – Culture – Patience. We’ve published an article on this subject. You can find it here →

Start in the Benelux

Your company is searching for growth and sees opportunities in Europe. If you want to establish yourself in the EU, consider starting in the Benelux.

In the Benelux you will find Europe’s largest port →, the European Commission →, the European Parliament →, Eurojust →, Europol, the European Investment Bank →, The European Fine Art Fair → and much more.

The Benelux is a regional intergovernmental cooperation between Belgium →, the Netherlands → and Luxembourg →.

The capital of Belgium, Brussels has also been the capital of Europe since 1997 and is the seat of many European institutions. The European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA) are just a few examples.

The Netherlands is seen by many countries as the gateway to Europe (and often also as the gateway to the world). The presence of the Port of Rotterdam, international organisations such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the OPCW in The Hague.

The internationally oriented Luxembourg is one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

We help you assess the market

We support you assessing your chances in the Eropean Market. A Europe Scan → will give you valuable insights:

  • How does the market for your proposition look like
  • Which Countries, Regions and Industries  offer the best opportunities
  • Who’s the competition, what’s their value proposition and pricing


Contact us →
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