What effects have government sponsored export promotion programs?

What can the government do in order to reduce the threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter the world market?

This issue is analysed in this project from the following perspectives:

  • What distinguishes SMEs that export, what markets do they trade with and what rolehave different trade barriers for their decision?
  • What are the effects of export on business growth, employment and productivity?
  • What effects have government sponsored export promotion programs?
  • What can we learn from the promotion of other countries in Europe?
  • Exporting through wholesalers. An alternative for SMEs?

Main results

Our study shows that:

  • Firms that receive support from export promotion agencies are more likely to export.
  • Firms that already export record higher export volumes after the treatment.
  • Combining different programs gives the best result.
  • But the positive effects are limited to companies that export less than expected at theoutset, i.e., companies that have all attributes to become successful exporters with theright support.
  • No significant effects are recorded for companies that perform better than average.

Sweden's export promotion compared to other countries in Europe

A comparison of export promotion in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK reveals both similarities and differences:

  • Sweden has a larger number of export promotion agencies than the other.
  • Collaboration between different agencies are encourage in all countries.
  • Basic export information is provided by all countries, and some also offer publicallysupported in-depth counseling.
  • The cost of in-depth counseling varies.
  • All countries except Norway and the Netherlands offer export financing for SMEs.
  • All countries except Germany and the UK offer SMEs the opportunity to apply forfinancial grants to develop exports. However, what the grants can be used for and howlarge they are varies.
  • All countries have started to evaluate their export promotion programs with modernmatching methods. Most evaluations show overall positive effects of the programs.

What effects have government sponsored export promotion programs?

Serial number: Report 2020:05

Reference number: 2018/215

Download the swedish report Pdf, 1.1 MB.


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