Internationalisation of German SMEs. Results of an empirical survey

In the period from 2009 to 2011, some 1.3 million German enterprises (thereof 99% SMEs) were directly engaged in internationalisation activities. This equals to a share of 37% in the total number of enterprises (44% when also considering indirect forms of internationalisation). Most widely spread are import- and export activities, followed by sales and service activities and co-operations with foreign partners. Less prevalent are other forms such as direct investments, consultancy contracts or toll manufacturing. Approx. 16 % of all enterprises plan to expand their existing internationalisation activities and more than 20% can generally imagine starting (export) activities for the first time. Economic policy can react to the enterprises' need for support by adapting its range of support services.

Kranzusch, P.; Holz, M. (2013): Internationalisierungsgrad von KMU. Ergebnisse einer Unternehmensbefragung, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): IfM-Materialien Nr. 222, Bonn.

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