284 research outputs found

    Internationalization strategy and performance of small and medium sized enterprises

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    Focusing on the timing and geographical scope of import and export activities of Belgian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the paper analyzes the importance, structural features and performance implications of firms that recently started to export following the geographical configuration of their international trade operations and their year of establishment. The analysis allows us to separate firms that started to export in the period 1998-2005 into four distinct groups: born internationals, i.e. firms which were established less than five years before their first year of exporting and exporting to less than five countries in the same region (regional focus), born globals; young firms but with a more internationally diversified export portfolio, born again globals, i.e. firms similar to born globals but established longer than five years before their first exports and traditional internationalizers, firms established more than five years before their first export operations characterized by a narrow geographical scope of their exports. We find SME export growth to be driven by a small group of born global firms, accounting for 60 per cent of the total increase in SME exports between 1998 and 2005. Analyzing the structural feature of the different types of firms, we find born globals to be more productive and characterized by a higher R&D spending and intangible asset intensity compared to other types of traders. We next test if the typology matters for the observed export performance differences across firms over time. We find that born globals grow faster in terms of export sales, have a stronger commitment to export markets and are more likely to continue exporting. Born globals also have the highest failure rate, traditional internationalizers the lowest. These findings suggest strong risk/return tradeoffs among the strategies chosen by the different types of firms. Performing a dynamic analysis of changes in trade configurations of firms over the observation period, we investigate how these changes have an impact on performance. Specific attention is paid to firms that stop importing/exporting. Especially firms that move from being exporters to become two-way traders, i.e. also starting to import goods from other countries show the most marked increases in turnover and productivity. The final part of the study analyzes the relationship between export and import activities to particular countries following the sequence in which they occur. We find that the probability to start importing from a country is 4 times higher for firms already exporting to that country than for trading SMEs without prior export experience in that country.

    Foreign investment and international plant configuration: whither the product cycle?.

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    We analyze the determinants of the decision to invest abroad in particular configurations of overseas plants for 120 Japanese firms active in 36 well-defined electronic product markets. We find support for a structured internationalization decision model in which the decision to produce abroad and the choice for a specific international plant configuration are treated as nested strategic options. Drivers at the industry and firm level push firms to consider overseas investment, and locational characteristics pull firms towards particular plant configurations. The product cycle still appears as an important force pushing firms to set up Asia-focused or global plant configurations. In contrast, plant configurations focused on the US and the EU are a result of restrictive trade policies or offensive market access considerations vital to technology intensive firms facing competitive threats in foreign markets.Foreign investment; International; Investment; Product; Markets; Model; Options; Industry; Characteristics; Trade; Trade policy;

    Multinational firms, market integration and trade structure: what remains of the standard goods hypothesis?.

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    In extending traditional empirical trade models with multinational firms, this paper shows the effect of transferring firm specific technology on the trade structure of host countries. For Belgium, a small open economy with a large presence of multinational firms, this effect is of crucial importance and by neglecting it previous studies appeared to have produced biased results. The results show how the large multinational presence induced by the European integration has shifted Belgium's trade structure towards differentiated products, making the standard goods hypothesis less appropriate to describe the trade composition of small open economies characterized by a large presence of multinational firms.Integration; Structure; Trade;

    Market Integration and Technological Leadership in Europe

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    This study traces and analyses the changes in firm and industry structure due to EU market integration and the integration of the EU in the global economy. It focuses on changes in competitiveness based on innovation and technology development.european union, eu, denmark, sweden, norway, jonung, bergman, scandinavian, currency, union, synchronisation of cycles, co-movement of cycles, monetary unions, symnetry, symmetry, european business cycles
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