The annual EIB Investment Survey (EIBIS) is an EU-wide study that gathers qualitative and quantitative information from some 12,500 SMEs and larger non-financial companies in all EU Member States on their investment activities, financing sources and needs, and challenges that they face. This year the EIBIS is complemented by a special module on European municipalities. The EIBIS reveals that investment is recovering in Europe, albeit at a slow and uneven pace across countries and asset classes. Understanding the reasons behind this slow recovery in investment is key to defining appropriate intervention instruments and policies.
In Estonia, investment gaps persist despite a substantial increase in investment activity in 2017. 19% of surveyed firms in Estonia report that they have invested too little over the last three years, according to EIBIS; 47% of municipalities in the Baltic region report infrastructure gaps. Estonian firms perceive the availability of skilled staff and uncertainty as main barriers to investment. Instead, firms appear to be fairly satisfied with the existing ICT infrastructure. At our joint Eesti Pank-EIB seminar, we will discuss whether market participants and economists see room for improvement in the allocation of capital, whether structural investment needs are addressed efficiently and whether innovative firms have appropriate access to finance.