SMEs weight in EU’s international trade in goods

In 2019, 99 % of importing enterprises in total trade (intra-EU and extra-EU) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while this share was only slightly lower for exporting enterprises (98 %). For both importing and exporting enterprises, this value remained almost unchanged between 2015 and 2019.

Micro enterprises represented the highest share of importing enterprises (77 %), significantly higher than small (17 %) and medium enterprises (4 %).

In terms of value of trade, the share of SMEs is smaller than in number of enterprises. SMEs had a share of 46 % in EU imports of goods and a share of 37 % in exports of goods. For medium (50-249 persons employed) enterprises the shares in imports (21 %) and exports (20 %) were very close. Micro (0-9 persons employed) enterprises had a slightly higher share in imports than in exports while the reverse was true for small (10-49 persons employed) enterprises.

Although large importers and exporters (enterprises with more than 250 employees) represented a smaller share of the total number of enterprises in both intra- (1 % and 2 %) and extra-EU trade (3 % and 4 %), their weight in terms of value was undisputable.
Large importers and exporters accounted for 51 % of the value of imports and 58 % of the value of exports in intra-EU trade. In terms of extra-EU trade, they accounted for 58 % of the value of imports and 68 % of the value of exports, respectively.

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