In this report we present the results of three studies and a working paper written under this project, including policy conclusions based on all four studies.
The obove issue is analysed from the following perspectives:
Most countries have some kind of export promotion programs financed wholly or partially through taxes. The objective is to create jobs and growth by helping firms to overcome the barriers to trade.
The objectives of the Swedish government's export strategy adopted in December 2015 can be summarized in five bullet points:
The strategic goals were reformulated somewhat in December 2019. One element of the new strategy is to provide good conditions for the export industry in all parts of Sweden through regional export centres that bring together all export promotion activities. Another novelty is the alignment of the export strategy with the sustainability objectives of Agenda 2030 and the Paris climate accord.
Our survey of SMEs suggests that relatively few firms export. And most of them stay within the EU and Norway where the market access are basically the same as in Swedish home market due to the common market of the EU and extension to Norway through the EEA.
Firms that begin exporting grow faster than firms in the same sector that remain in the home market. Well-designed export promotion programs may therefore spur the growth rate of the economy.
The following export promotion programs have been evaluated in this project:
Estimating the effects of these programs is challenging because we can only evaluate the effects on the companies that have applied for and been granted support, not a random selection of companies. One assumption may be that the support mainly reaches the most motivated companies.
The estimated effects may then be confounded with differences in the abilities of firms. To address the problem of self-selection, we use a matching method. It means that every company that has taken part in the promotion is matched against the five most comparable companies that have not taken part in any promotional efforts.
The evaluation shows that:
A comparison of export promotion in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK reveals both similarities and differences:
Serial number: Rapport 2020:03
Reference number: 2018/215