Time to act

Central and Eastern European Private Business Survey

Most respondents are cautiously optimistic about future growth

The biggest challenge for private businesses in Central &Eastern European (CEE) is a growing skills shortage that is hindering their growth. A PwC survey of 600 private and entrepreneurial businesses across 15 CEE countries (EMEA Private Business Survey 2019) shines a spotlight on a wider, ongoing issue across the region. A quarter of companies surveyed said that skills shortages were costing them more than 5% of revenues each year and PwC estimates that the skills shortage is costing the region €358 billion annually in lost revenues – just from the private business sector alone.

The survey also found that over half of private businesses across CEE expect growth over the next 12 months, with only 8% expecting lower revenues. Optimism appeared highest in Eurasia (70%), followed by Croatia (67%), while it was lowest in Russia (42%) and Romania (52%). Encouragingly, 63% of survey respondents recognise that digitalisation will impact the long-term viability of their businesses.

But the survey suggests that most leaders (68%) see digitalisation as a way to improve processes, and nearly half of those surveyed view it as a tool to analyse data to tailor products and services. Only 35% appear to have a more sophisticated take on digitalisation, seeing it as a way to develop end-to-end digital solutions that ultimately meet customer needs.

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Richard Bregonje

Partner, Tax & Legal services, PwC Kazakhstan

Tel: +7 727 330 3200

Yevgeniy Kogan

Manager, Advisory, PwC Kazakhstan

Tel: +7 727 330 3201

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