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EXPORT INTELLIGENCE BLOG

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European SMEs benefit from export
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Internationalisation of European SMEs
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3 attributes of the Most Successful SME exporters
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German SMEs are active too
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European SMEs that benefit from export opportunities: facts & figures
    #sme #export #internationalsales #internationalmarketing #internalization #internationaldevelopment
    For Small and Medium-sized companies export sales not only opens up new opportunities helps to become more innovative and productive and is hence a chance to grow and prosper. But despite the opportunities, only a relatively small number of our SMEs currently engage in cross-border activities and an even smaller number report they are considering it. Obviously SMEs that go global gain strategic competitive advantage over majority of their competitors.
    Export is one of the major growth opportunities for European SMEs
      • Only a third of all SMEs in the EU28 exported to another country.
      • EU countries are a key market for SMEs in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
      • Only 13% revenues of revenues for exporting SMEs originate from other EU countries.
      Diagram European SME export 2018
      More benefits than just extra revenue from abroad
        • Export sales allows better exploit economies of scale.
        • A stronger regional diversification of revenues sources makes SMEs more resilient against shocks.
        Exporters are 13% more productive than non-exporters in a given industry and country*
          • Serving a larger market and being more exposed to international competition encourages technological development and continuous product and process innovation.
          • Internationalised SMEs can often benefit from the technological know-how of their foreign business partners or competitors.
          In a nutshell, crossing national borders can help SMEs to become more innovative and productive. It can enhance their growth and eventually increase their chances of survival.

          Go global before it's a mainstream - 90% of European SMEs will miss this chance
              • Only 10% of nonexporting SMEs are either already trying to export or consider it as an option for the future.
              Diagram European SME export plans 2019-2020
              History offers many examples of successful brands and products entering new markets and failing to achieve their aims. For larger companies, with greater resources, a failure in one market can be offset with success in others but for SMEs, with their more modest resources, it is much more of a risk.

              Every market, every region and every country is different. An SME needs to understand the dynamics and how its product fits into it. This requires looking at the preferences and the behaviour of customers, partners and competitors. An SME can carry out its own market research through visiting the target country or region or hire an external company to carry it out.

              * - This and other data in the article unless other source is mentioned: "Internationalisation of European SMEs – Taking Stock and Moving Ahead", Bpifrance (2018)

              ** - Falk and Hagsten (2015), sample of 110,000 SMEs from 19 European countries


              Internationalisation of European SMEs – Taking Stock and Moving Ahead
                France, Germany, Italy, Spain
                and the United Kingdom
                Bpifrance, 2018
                Table of Contents
                    List of Figures 3



                    Greetings 6



                    Foreword 8



                    1. General Part 11

                    1.1 International economic relations of Europe and its SMEs 13

                    1.2 What are the benefits of internationalisation for SMEs? 19

                    1.3 What are the challenges for SMEs going global? 21

                    1.4 Fostering the internationalisation of SMEs – the role of NPIs 26



                    2. Country Reports 31

                    2.1 France 33

                    2.1.1 International trade relations of the French economy 33

                    2.1.2 International activities of French SMEs 35

                    2.1.3 Challenges to the internationalisation of French SMEs 36

                    2.1.4 National policies to support the internationalisation of French SMEs 37



                    2.2 Germany 41

                    2.2.1 International trade relations of the German economy 41

                    2.2.2 International activities of German SMEs 45

                    2.2.3 Challenges to the internationalisation of German SMEs 46

                    2.2.4 National policies to support the internationalisation of German SMEs 48



                    2.3 Italy

                    2.3.1 International trade relations of the Italian economy 51

                    2.3.2 International activities of Italian SMEs 52

                    2.3.3 Challenges to the internationalisation of Italian SMEs 55

                    2.3.4 National policies to support the internationalisation o Italian SMEs 56



                    2.4 Spain

                    2.4.1 International trade relations of the Spanish economy 59

                    2.4.2 International activities of Spanish SMEs 60

                    2.4.3 Challenges to the internationalisation of Spanish SMEs 62

                    2.4.4 National policies to support the internationalisation of Spanish SMEs 64



                    2.5 United Kingdom 67

                    2.5.1 International trade relations of the UK economy 67

                    2.5.2 International activities of UK SMEs 69

                    2.5.3 Challenges to the internationalisation of UK SMEs 71

                    2.5.4 National policies to support the internationalisation of UK SMEs 72



                    References


                    ***
                    International trade is a key engine for growth and welfare. This is particularly true for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, which are not only the largest economies in Europe but also among the largest traders on the continent. Together they account for more than half of all intra- and extra-EU trade flows.

                    An important part of these exports and imports is driven by large firms and multinational corporations. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in contrast, are underrepresented in international trade. In fact, SMEs represent the vast majority of firms in Europe and provide two out of three jobs – but account for far less than half of all exports and imports. When it comes to other forms of internationalisation, such as foreign direct investments, participation of SMEs is even more limited.

                    This means that many SMEs are missing out on the benefits often associated with internationalisation - higher productivity, faster growth, greater innovation and better chances of survival.

                    The obstacles SMEs face when expanding abroad are diverse and they differ across countries. However, there is a common issue that emerges in all countries: access to finance. Although financing conditions have improved in most European countries in recent years, SMEs continue to be at a disadvantage when it comes to getting external capital.
                    ***


                    Download full version of the report
                    Tree attributes that the most successful Canadian exporters share
                      A study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
                      Diagram European SME export plans 2019-2020
                      Tree attributes that the most successful Canadian exporters share
                        A study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
                        ***
                        Across the globe, a structural change towards services is underway that also manifests itself in international trade flows. Compared with other European countries, Germany is still heavily characterised by industrial production but the share of services in total exports has grown noticeably here as well in the past decades – to nearly 18% in the year 2016.

                        Business services in particular, such as research and development, legal advice, tax and business consultancy, as well as information and communication services are becoming increasingly important in international trade.

                        Today they account for some 55% of Germany's service exports and 47% of service imports. Firms that export services are larger, more productive, pay higher salaries and are more often foreign-owned than non-exporting enterprises.

                        In Germany, around one quarter of all service exports originate in manufacturing firms. In the German SME sector, service enterprises make up around three quarters of all businesses. Around one in five of them is an exporter and in wholesale and retail it is nearly one third.

                        Small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly affected by restrictive regulation on trade in services and should therefore benefit greatly from further liberalisation.

                        Digitalisation should also further strengthen service exports by SMEs.vantage when it comes to getting external capital.
                        ***
                        Diagram European SME export plans 2019-2020
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