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Reflections on the document “ Small Business, Big World – a new partnership to help SMEs seize global opportunities ” - a view from NMS. Magdolna Sass Institute of Economics of CERS HAS and ICEG EC, Hungary. Background 1 SMEs in NMS.

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Reflections on the document “Small Business, Big World – a new partnership to help SMEs seize global opportunities”- a viewfrom NMS

Magdolna Sass

Institute of Economicsof CERS HAS and ICEG EC, Hungary

background 1 smes in nms
Background 1 SMEs in NMS
  • At the beginning of transition: a relative absence of SMEs; deregulation and support programs: a quick growth, though still lower share compared to EU-15
  • Mainly small and micro enterprises
  • On average less developed in human resources (e.g. language, managerial)
  • Still many „too weak-too small-too isolated”
  • Lower level of internationalisation compared to EU-15, though some successfully internationalising, even „born globals” in innovative sectors
  • Institutional framework for support, incl. for internationalisation less advanced, though differing from country to country
  • Cases of overlaps, parallel structures, complicated organisational systems and irrelevant programs
  • Missing evaluations on existing support schemes
background 2 a tale of two companies
Background 2 A tale of twocompanies

An IT company („bornglobal”)

An innovative company in the medical precision instruments sector

30 employees, established in 1990

In some small market segments among the top 5 companies worldwide

Around half of its exports go to the EU, the other half to many countries in the American and Asian continent

Used support extensivelyfrom ITDH and MEHIBforoutside-EUmarkets

Barriers to internationalisation: language (Japanese and Chinese), info on markets, lack of foreign partners and lack of financing

Sector specific: import licences and need for local permits (Argentina, Brazil, USA, Canada, China, Japan)

  • Established in 2001, 40 employees
  • Software and related hardware production
  • Quickly growing, esp. exports (DeloitteTechnologyFast 50 in 2007)
  • Since 2006: also FDI
  • Affiliates in EU and in Russia, local partners in many Asian and African countries
  • Institutional support minimal, „problems” in foreign markets solvedmainly through hiring experienced personnel with local knowledge (CE, Russia, Africa)
dilemmas
Dilemmas
  • The present „labyrinth” of support: reason and room for cleaning up for giving better access to SMEs to support and to information on support and for a more efficientuse of publicmoney
  • Delicate issues for the „cleaning up” exercise:
  • The problem of vested interests
  • The importance of the bottom-up approach
  • Targeting versus general support
dilemmas cont d
Dilemmascont’d
  • Cooperation versus competition:

differing interests of member states in

  • Geographical scope
  • Sector scope (if any)
  • Size/extent of support
  • NMS „specialties” - an illustration
  • Costliness and riskiness of outside-EU-markets (though quicker growth and opportunities)