Export orientation of Polish small and medium-sized enterprises in Gdansk : an empirical analysis
The success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in industrialised countries has led to the increasing recognition of their role in exports, and in transition economies, this is driven by private-sector-led economic growth. The objective of this thesis is to determine major factors influencing export propensity of Polish SMEs in an expanded European Union (EU). All investigated enterprises are located in the Gdansk province. This study employs the Logit model to explain why some SMEs are exporters (their export propensity) in Poland. The second contribution of this thesis is to find out why some Polish SMEs are non-exporters and will not even engage in future export activities (export aversion). The results of the study indicate that the essential sources of an enterprise's finance, the perception about major problems with respect to export operations and the actions taken to prepare for the accession of Poland to the EU are very important drivers of export propensity and export aversion. More importantly, the results show that the information about special foreign credit available for Polish SMEs and the number of competing firms in domestic market have a positive influence on their export propensity. A strong relationship has been observed between the extent of use of IT tools in distribution-marketing and export propensity. Our results also illustrate that the propensity to export is dependent on the capital of the firm and on profitability of the firm in the domestic market. However, our findings reveal that legal status of firms, the branch of economic activity of the enterprise, the firms with less attractiveness and modernity of products, the firms with little knowledge of EU members' markets and the firms with low technological levels are the factors influencing export aversion of Polish SMEs. Our results demonstrate that the domestic share of the market of the firm is significant in explaining export propensity and aversion. Our empirical results should contribute to policy makers' designing effective assistance programmes to encourage Polish SMEs in their exporting.