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B. Export Readiness Among SMEs

Based on previous literature, it was found that the desire and motivation to enter international market to increase revenue and profit are the most important factor to export readiness [6–8, 20]. When asked whether the firms have the intention to penetrate export market, all the eight firms indicated that they have intention to penetrate export market.

Table 5.3 Firm size and number of years in operation

Firm's name

Size (by no. of employees)

Years of operations

SME 1

50

7

SME 2

54

1

SME 3

15

3

SME 4

20

16

SME 5

92

28

SME 6

59

10

SME 7

20

19

SME 8

40

23

The following questions were asked to investigate whether the firms have made investment or directed their resources toward becoming export firms. Initially, the firms were asked whether there are any fund allocation and investments made to achieve export market. Out of eight firms, four stated that they have made investment and ready to venture into export market. While two firms stated that they have made minimal investment by establishing websites and study potential export market. The remaining two firms stated that they have not made any investment to achieve export market. From the interview it was found that SMEs perceived research made on potential export market as very important factors besides company's and product compliance with international standard. Investment is also made in building brand name internationally (by participating in international exhibitions or trade missions or promotions) and the establishment of proper websites.

When asked whether firms have the capacity to enter export market, 50 % of the respondents are confident that they have the capacity to export. These firms mentioned that they have the capacity to adapt, modify, and develop products for international market. Furthermore, the firms mentioned that they have the capacity to establish physical local presence (overseas agent or office) in the foreign market that they wish to enter. On whether the firms have the capabilities to enter foreign market, the same firms are confident that they are ready to enter export market in the near future as the company is knowledgeable of the legal business requirement of the foreign markets it plans to enter.

All the firms are also asked whether they are ready to export their products to the international market. The result shows that five (62.5 %) out of eight firms said that they are ready, while the remaining three said that they are not ready considering the limited resources that they have. The study found that although only 50 % of the companies have made investment and directed their resources toward achieving export market, 62.5 % are confident that they are ready to export.

The study also found that medium-sized firms are more ready to enter international market than small-sized firms. This indicates that firm's size matters on whether the firm is ready to export or otherwise. In conclusion, the findings found only 50 % of the total SMEs interviewed are export ready in which they have high level of commitment and confidence to venture into export activities.

 
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