The relationship between export capabilities in SMEs and export intensity: insights for export promotion programmes – The case of Peru

Oscar Malca , Jean Pierre Bolaños

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The design of export promotion programmes (EPPs) requires considering the heterogeneity of resource and capabilities needs among exporting firms, especially to promote the international expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises, which face additional resource limitations in their internationalization process. Policymakers face compounding obstables in the context of emerging economies and in Latin America, as exporting firms present discontinuities in their export behavior and the difficulty in measuring firm-level challenges limit the potential of EPPs to improve their national export portfolio. To address this limitation, this study showcases the use of six indices to assess the level of export-related capabilities that 271 exporting SMEs present in 24 of the 26 regions in Peru. The results highlight that the indices have a high level of reliability, validity and variance, and show that the typical Peruvian exporting SME has between 45% and 66% of the total number of basic capabilities needed to successfully manage its export venture. The average firm usually possess more capabilities related to production processes (industrial technical capacity) and fewer capabilities regarding an appropriate internal export oriented organisation. Furthermore, the study finds that the level of export capabilities varies as the export intensity of SMEs, but regardless of its level, there are common export capabilities that are not present in both high export intensity and low export intensity SMEs. The study provides implication for policy and managerial action, and states its limitations and future avenues for research.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Oct 2018
EventIV Simposio Internacional sobre Relaciones entre América Latina y Asia-Pacífico - Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, México D.F., Mexico
Duration: 15 Oct 201816 Oct 2018
Conference number: IV


ConferenceIV Simposio Internacional sobre Relaciones entre América Latina y Asia-Pacífico
CityMéxico D.F.

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