New Horizons: Europe's Small and Medium-Sized Companies Look to Emerging Markets for Growth

This EIU report examines the degree to which Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are operating in emerging markets: which markets they are choosing, why they are going there, and the opportunities and challenges that they are encountering. Here's how MNCs in those markets can capitalise on these opportunities.


The top-10 emerging markets that Europe’s SMEs plan to do business with in the coming year are, in order of preference:

  1. China
  2. Brazil
  3. India
  4. Russia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Poland
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Morocco
  9. Romania
  10. Turkey


Key Findings

  • The rise of emerging markets is not just a big business phenomenon. Many European SMEs are deeply engaged as well. 
  • Most SMEs are entering these markets in pursuit of new customers. 
  • The financial crisis acted as a catalyst for expansion abroad. 
  • The BRICs will attract most attention from European SMEs in the coming year, followed by other near-shore markets. 
  • Of these markets, Brazil has made the greatest strides in terms of improved perceptions. 
  • Inflation and exchange rates are the primary macroeconomic concerns for SMEs.


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