More and more SMEs are venturing abroad. They particularly want to develop and secure new markets. And the statistics show that they are successful: since 2000, sales abroad by SMEs have risen by nearly 40% to €200 billion. Companies wishing to succeed by selling niche products abroad have particularly good prospects: Germany has 1,300 “hidden champions” – small and mid-sized world market leaders in the fields of electrical equipment, mechanical engineering and industrial products.
The main driving force for success on foreign markets is always the company’s own efforts: they need to be able to rely on a good product, a promising strategy and reliable financing.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports German firms in a variety of ways: e.g. in the form of trade policy measures which facilitate access to foreign markets or by supporting specific activities at all export stages.
The range of support measures offered by the BMWi have been efficiently coordinated and bundled together under the new umbrella initiative “Mittelstand Global” (Global SMEs). The SME market development programme is intended for small and medium-sized companies across the economy and offers additional support in important sectors of the future, such as environmental technology, the health economy and civil security technologies and services. The sector specific Energy Export Initiative promotes the market potential of German energy technologies abroad and covers all kinds of environmentally friendly energy solutions.
Additional services, such as the foreign trade fair programme, information on foreign markets provided by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), advisory services provided by foreign chambers of commerce, and export credit guarantees (“Hermes Cover”) complete the foreign trade promotion services of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Export initiatives and market development programmes are divided into modules that can be used separately and combined with each other.