Europe is (not) Europe

There is plenty of news about Europe: good, bad and irrelevant. Companies wanting to take their products to Europe should distinguish between important facts and irrelevant white noise.
Europe is very diverse. Although some countries (especially in the Mediterranean region) are encountering economic problems, many other European countries enjoy a thriving economy (e.g. Germany).
Also in terms of infrastructure, there are huge differences. The Eastern European EU members have done a lot of catching up already, but still have way to go until their infrastructure is at the same level as in Western European countries.
What does this mean for companies wanting to export to Europe?
• Is your product of interest for a fully developed market with high buying power? Then focus on Germany, UK, Scandinavia etc.
• Is your product of interest to fast growing economies, e.g. to leapfrog technological developments? Then look towards Eastern Europe.
• Does your product save cost in some way? Look at economies that are not doing so well, or that have generally a lower buying power.
Of course this is a very superficial view, but the intention is to give a rough idea of the diversity in Europe, and what it means for companies wanting to do business here.