BUSINESS IN SHORT

Misia 14 wants SMEs to export more

SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in Slovakia do not use their full export potential, according to the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO). To support these activities and encourage SMEs to offer their products and services on foreign markets, SARIO, together with Eximbanka, Google Slovensko, Sberbank Slovensko, Slovak Telekom and Zoznam.sk, launched a project called Misia 14 – Made in Slovakia, the SITA newswire reported.

SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in Slovakia do not use their full export potential, according to the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO). To support these activities and encourage SMEs to offer their products and services on foreign markets, SARIO, together with Eximbanka, Google Slovensko, Sberbank Slovensko, Slovak Telekom and Zoznam.sk, launched a project called Misia 14 – Made in Slovakia, the SITA newswire reported.

The project focuses on SMEs, since they employ 70 percent of employees in Slovakia and generate about 40 percent of GDP. Many of them stagnate since they only focus on the local market, which has limited consumption. Fewer than half of all SMEs in Slovakia export their products, reads the analysis of Sberbank Slovensko, as reported by the TASR newswire.

“The problem is not that [the companies] do not have competitive products, and we have high prices,” said Martin Marko from SARIO, as quoted by SITA, adding that the main problem is that SMEs lack information and aspirations.

Within the first phase of the project the businesses will be encouraged to visit the official website Misia14.sk and express their opinions on problems with exports via an online questionnaire. Based on the collected information SARIO will create a package of services for beginner as well as advanced exporters, SITA reported.

SARIO and its partners hope the increased exports might positively affect Slovakia’s GDP and support employment.

According to the statistics, there were about 16,600 SMEs in 2011 and 2012, which represents 33 percent of GDP, though only 20 percent of them contributed to the country’s exports, SITA wrote.

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