Internationalisation activities of German SMEs as reflected by official data sources

The international trade with goods and services is of large importance for German SMEs. Exports and imports have increased over the last decade to a similar degree as the number of internationally active enterprises. In 2010, at least 345.000 SMEs were exporters while 512.000 SMEs engaged in import activities. All in all, official statistics classify approx. 11% of all enterprises as exporting companies and 17% as importers. In the manufacturing sector almost 30% of all firms are involved in export activities. In the total business population, the share of exporters increases in line with enterprise size: from 9% in the case of micro enterprises, 47% for small enterprises up to 68% for medium-sized enterprises. Hence, more than every second SME with an annual turnover of more than 2 million EUR is engaged in the export business. Thereby, SMEs are to a similar degree active on markets within and outside the EU.

Hoffmann, M.; Holz, M.; Kranzusch, P. (2013): Außenwirtschaftsaktivitäten von kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen im Lichte der amtlichen Statistik, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): Daten und Fakten Nr. 9, Bonn.

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