SMEs and Internationalisation
The vast majority of the Irish Chamber Network’s members are SMEs. For this reason, the European Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) of 2008, which contains 10 principles and around 100 specific measures that aim to ‘unlock the growth and jobs potential of SMEs and make full use of their innovative capacities’, is of utmost importance to the Chamber Network in Europe. The overriding objective of its SME activities is to push for the application of the ‘Think Small First’ principle throughout the EU policy making process.
- Chambers Ireland will be working with Eurochambres, and indeed with the Irish SME Envoy, throughout the coming year to stress the importance of the “Think Small First” principle when it comes to developing policy that supports business.
In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy, including its SMEs, economic policies must have a global dimension. Although Ireland would consider itself an exporting nation, the majority of our exports are confined to a small number of large indigenous companies, multinational companies and the FDI sector. Our smaller home-grown businesses are less inclined to export their products and services outside of Ireland. Should even a small number of our multinationals relocate their operations, Ireland would very quickly see a significant drop in export levels.
- A concerted effort is required, at both national and European level, to encourage and support Irish SMEs to become more internationally focused and capable of exporting their products abroad. Throughout 2016 we will be working to ensure that Irish SMEs are considered first and foremost as part of internationalisation strategies.