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Internationalisation is the key to growth – SMEs have high expectations for growth in exports

16.02.2016

Economic outlook for SMEs shows improvement. The desire for growth remains strong and export volume is expected to increase sharply.

In the near future, SMEs will see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in a long while. This positive outlook is reflected in the desire for growth, with more enterprises than before being growth-oriented: 9 per cent of enterprises report being strongly growth-oriented, while 36 per cent plan for growth wherever possible.

SMEs are looking for growth on the international market and, according to the survey, export volume is expected to rise above current levels within the next year. A positive sign in all sectors is the increase in plans for internationalisation financing.

However, outside financing is still being sought primarily for working capital, even though the investment percentage in strongly growth-oriented enterprises is already showing a slight increase. There have been no changes in the availability of financing compared to the results from last autumn. In any case, there are signs that the terms of financing are becoming more favourable, as over 80 per cent of the SMEs seeking financing stated that the availability of financing was not an obstacle to realising projects.

"Improvement of the economic situation in the euro zone can be clearly seen in higher expectations concerning the demand for export goods. The export share of Finnish SMEs is currently below the EU average, so it's of the utmost importance to find the internationalisation potential behind the Barometer results," says Finnvera's CEO Pauli Heikkilä.

The Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Finnvera and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly conduct the SME Barometer Survey twice a year. The aim is to examine the operations and economic operating environment of small and medium-sized enterprises. The spring 2016 Barometer Survey is based on the responses submitted by 6,000 SMEs.

SME Survey on The Federation of Finnish Enterprises website

Further information:
Pauli Heikkilä, CEO, tel. +358 29 460 2400
Jonna Myllykangas, Communications Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2740

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