More and more SMEs are venturing abroad. They particularly want to develop and secure new markets. And the statistics show that they are successful: sales abroad by SMEs rose by 44.9% between 2000 and 2016, to €208.2 billion. Companies wishing to succeed by selling niche products abroad have particularly good prospects: Germany has 1,300 hidden champions – small and mid-sized world market leaders in the fields of electrical equipment, mechanical engineering and industrial products.
The main driving force for success on foreign markets is always the company’s own efforts: They need to be able to rely on a good product, a promising strategy and reliable financing.
A wide range of support for companies
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action supports German firms in a variety of ways: e.g. in the form of trade policy measures which facilitate access to foreign markets. In particular, the ministry offers services to help companies develop foreign markets along the entire chain of export business.
The market entry programme is targeted at SMEs in all sectors; the export initiatives (for , environmental technology, healthcare, civil security technologies) focus on specific industries. These services are now better coordinated, in terms of both content and structure, and can have a more targeted impact. This combined strength can also be seen in the new brand “Mittelstand global”. It brings two approaches together: on the one hand, the horizontal SMEs market entry programme and export initiatives in key forward looking fields like green technology, healthcare and civil security. On the other hand, the sector-specific Energy Export Initiative which promotes the market potential of German energy technologies abroad.
The right module for everyone
The Economic Affairs Ministry’s promotional measures provide SMEs with the help they need as they target foreign markets. The services include:
- advice on the main steps to take before engaging in international business relations
- sector-specific information on target segments abroad
- specific contacts with international business partners
- showcases in Germany and abroad which enable SMEs to present their goods, products and services to an expert audience.