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Title: Export promotion of small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries : the perceived usefulness of international trade points by SMEs in Egypt
Author: Khazragui, Hanan
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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With the advent of the internet and the development of Information and Communication technology, new reinvented forms of Trade Promotion Organizations have emerged. The globalization of today’s trading environment has forced economies to prioritize the development of the export competitiveness of their SMEs sector, as to be able to survive amidst the fierce global competition. The digital economy has created new means and channels of overcoming barriers of trade faced by SMEs due to their size and limited resources. To this end the International trade center has launched the Global Trade Point Network in 1993. The objective of this new electronic form of TPO is to assist firms in developing countries to explore business opportunities effectively by providing them with targeted market information and facilitating exporting procedures at a relatively low cost. With the expanding number of interconnected Trade Points, The GTPNet is rising to be the main global network for trade-related information streams. This study explored the extent of usefulness of these trade points in providing SMEs with real export opportunities as well as boosting their export competitiveness in Egypt, due to it being the one country with the highest number of operating trade points. The study used a mixed sequential methodology, combining both a semi structured interview based qualitative analysis followed by a questionnaire based large scale survey. This study was built around the theory of stages of internationalization, to reflect the fact that SMEs in the new evolving digital environment, are still in need of acquiring export market knowledge throughout the different stages of the internationalization process through secondary sources. Export market-knowledge as a firm resource boosts its competitive position and in turn to increased commitment to the export operation. On a theoretical level, a perceived usefulness construct for International trade points has been developed using exploratory factor analysis that paves the way to empirical tests of the different recommendations in the export promotion literature. The domain incorporates a new factor pertinent to the unique nature of International trade points, as being dependent on an electronic matching system supported by a global network, the proposed definition and usefulness of International trade points provides a conceptual framework in an area where little prior research has been conducted. Based on the findings, Egyptian Small and Medium Enterprises did not appreciate this new developed service due to their lack of e-readiness and resilience to engage in this process. From a practical perspective, the study has supported the findings of previous empirical studies, that pointed out that Export promotion Organizations are not targeting the real potential disadvantaged firms as committed exporters with high export intensity were the main recipients of successful trading opportunities through International Trade Points, as well as the ones that perceived these governmental sponsored organizations to be more useful. Moreover, the study revealed the shortcomings in the performance of International trade points, which are to a great extent attributable to their inefficient governmental organizational and managerial structure.
Supervisor: Barrientos, Armando Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Export Promotion, Trade Promotion Organization, SMEs, Egypt, International Trade Points