Official statistical data sources cover the internationalisation activities of German enterprises only incompletely, both with regard to the different types of internationalisation and to their volumes. Enterprise specific data are only available for imports and exports as well as for the entirety of (not further differentiated) foreign direct investments of German companies. Due to methodological shortcomings of the underlying official data sources, the degree of internationalisation of German SMEs is underestimated. Valid information on foreign trade activities is available only for those economic sectors which are predominantly engaged in the trade of goods.
Holz, M.; Kranzusch, P.; Hoffmann, M. (2013): Außenwirtschaftliche Aktivitäten von kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen: Informationsmöglichkeiten der amtlichen Statistik, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): Daten und Fakten Nr. 8, Bonn.