SMEs must have favourable and long-term financing to go abroad.
Julio García. Madrid
The number of exporting Spanish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) increased by 10.8% in 2014 from January to June, compared to the same period of 2013, until reaching 42,812 companies. Their turnover amounted to more than 111,000 million euros. However, some voices advocate the creation of an Office of Economic Intelligence to internationalize SMEs.
That is how the professor of the School of International Studies ESCI-UPF and researcher of the Centre Public Sector-Private Sector of the IESE, Ramón Xifré Oliva, explains it in the report presented yesterday at the Fundación Alternativas in Madrid, titled “La internacionalización en la base de la pirámide empresarial española: análisis y propuestas” (Internationalization at the base of the Spanish business pyramid: analysis and proposals). According to what he said, sales of goods and services increased, between the years 2000 and 2013, at a pace comparable, within the group of the five big economies of the EU, to that of Germany.
Although the trade deficit has been significantly reduced since the year 2011, there are not sufficient elements to estimate if this is a structural change or if it responds to temporary circumstances. In that sense, the professor referred to the problems of Spanish businesspeople to export, such as the production of manufactures with low and medium-low technology, the small size of companies, and a geographic concentration of sales destinations, mainly countries of the EU.
Ramón Xifré thinks that exportation must have favourable and long-term financing
Considering the circumstances and after regretting the insufficient information provided by some Spanish embassies when advising Spanish SMEs wanting to go abroad, Oliva commented on eight measures to promote their internationalization, standing out the office of economic intelligence. This would be a public department assuming all the analysis, research, prospection and economic intelligence functions to promote the exporting activity of the country.
He also advocated creating, from the services currently offered by ICEX, which “have carried out a satisfactory work until now”, an agent to provide specific financing, in favourable and long-term conditions, and that has the ability to assess internationalization projects.
Other proposals to promote internationalization in this sector are an alliance plan for companies, a plan to qualify for exports and a programme of competitive excellence: exportation, innovation and competitiveness.