SMEs – the backbone of the EU economy
August 25th, 2020 – SMEs are vital to the EU’s economy. Supporting their development both within the single market and outside the EU is thus a key element of the Union’s overall competitiveness strategy. The European Court of Auditors is starting an audit to assess the coherence of the EU’s SME internationalisation strategy and the effectiveness of measures taken so far.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — those with fewer than 250 employees — are widely considered the backbone of the economy. In the EU, they account for two thirds of private-sector employment and generate over half of all economic output. Any measures to help them grow and internationalise their business activities can therefore have a major impact on jobs and growth.
However, SMEs still face a number of barriers to becoming more active internationally and from benefitting from cross-border trade. These barriers include lack of knowledge about non-domestic markets and business opportunities, complex regulations and administrative barriers, and insufficient resources for internationalisation. Helping enterprises to overcome these obstacles effectively is high on the EU’s agenda, with a number of initiatives addressing SMEs’ needs. These include, in particular, the Enterprise Europe Network, the Startup Europe Initiative, support from the SME Instrument and the European Structural Investment funds, and other initiatives under the Competitiveness of SMEs (COSME) programme.
Written by EU Today
October 16th, 2020 – Looking for diversified and meaningful returns, an increasing number of investors in Asia are slowly turning to p...