Factors Affecting Variation in SME’s Export Intensity

Mohamad D. Revindo and Christopher Gan


Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are more constrained to participate in export market than their large counterparts despite various export assistance provision by the government. Extant literature on SME internationalization mostly focus more on how non-exporting SMEs can become exporters than on how exporting SMEs can sustain and expand their export. This study aims to investigate the  factors affecting SMEs’ export intensity with reference to the case of Indonesia. Fractional-logit regressions were used to identify the influence of export-exhibiting factors, export-inhibiting factors, and firm and owner characteristics on SMEs’ export intensity. The evidences were collected from 497 SMEs in seven provinces in Jawa, Madura and Bali regions. The findings show that SMEs’ export intensity is affected by some firm characteristics including firm age and total employees. Export intensity is also affected by some exhibiting factors including owners’ overseas and MNC/exporting firm work experience, central government agencies’ assistance, network relationships with non-government actors, location, export market of choices and years of exporting. By contrast, export intensity is adversely affected by perceived difficulties in overcoming informational and human resources barriers, distribution, logistics and promotional barriers, financial barriers, foreign government barriers, procedural barriers and price barriers. The policy and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.

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