Internationalization of Welsh SMEs: The Role of Wales Trade International

David Pickernell, David Brooksbank, Helena Snee, Farid Ullah, Dylan Jones-Evans

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Structural change has been a consistent feature of the manufacturing economy inWalesover the last 25 years. Nor is it just coal and steel which have been reduced to a fraction of their previous size and importance. Industrial sectors ranging from chemicals to clothing have seen substantial reductions in their relative labour force and output and many of the newer industries brought in to replace the industries on which Wales used to rely (e.g. electronics, automotive components) have themselves moved on again, at least partially, no more than a generation later. Around 80% of start-ups and new firms in Wales, however, have no exports, with particular weaknesses in start-ups compared with nearly every other region of the UK (except the North East of England). Jones-Evans and Brooksbank (2004) therefore argued for more support for certain types of start-ups, to boost knowledge of exporting know-how in training and advice, but also recognised that export potential is largely determined by the sector in question and the ambitions of the entrepreneur. This feature of the economy emphasises the need to examine, in depth, the role of public policy support in affecting SME exporting and inWalesthis revolves around analysis of the functions and place of the public body known as Wales Trade International (WTI). The chapter therefore explores the theory surrounding the internationalisation of SMEs and the consequent range of policy prescriptions that have been suggested. The role of Wales Trade International is then explored in-depth, with case studies of relevant programmes. Finally the evidence for any positive link between economic development and trade promotion in Wales is examined, concluding with a future research agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship
    Subtitle of host publicationTowards a Theory of Internationalization
    EditorsLéo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978 1 84542 501 2
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2008


    • sme exporting
    • wales trade international
    • policy


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