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Small businesses exporting outside EU employ over 13 mn

Jun '20
Pic: European Commission
Pic: European Commission's Chief Economist Note, Issue 1: May 2020
The number of EU exporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has risen steadily in recent years, and in several sectors they are more competitive in digitally intensive products than large EU companies. EU SME exports are also a major driver for export-led job creation: over 13 million jobs in Europe depend on EU SME exports, according to a study.

In 2017, out of 700,000 EU companies who sell products and services outside the EU, some 615,000 were small and medium businesses, says an economic analysis published by the European Commission. The study considers enterprises with less than 250 employees as SMEs.

These SMEs exported goods worth €476 billion in 2017, which represented 28 per cent of the total value of extra-EU exports. In many economic sectors, EU SMEs account for more than 50 per cent of the total value of EU exports (textiles, furniture, printing and media, agricultural products, wood products), the analysis said.

SME exports are also greener. They have lower greenhouse gas emissions than an average firm, with 70 per cent of SME exports belonging to the low to medium-low greenhouse gas emission, the paper titled 'The role of SMEs in extra-EU exports: Key performance indicators' added.

"Compared to their contributions to national economies, EU SMEs remain under-represented in global trade in terms of export value. Ensuring that EU SMEs continue to remain strongly engaged in exporting activities in the post-COVID-19 recovery is highly important. EU SMEs could become more international via outward foreign direct investment as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery strategy," the report suggested.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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