SME unfamiliarity with foreign markets received particular attention, with 84 per cent of SMEs explaining that understanding a target market’s culture or language is highly important in determining its attractiveness. This was found by an Economist Intelligence Unit survey, on behalf of DHL, and they note that this is the reasoning behind why SMEs often expand to markets similar to their own. Furthermore, BRICM markets are more likely to seek growth opportunities in other developing countries, something that UK SMEs need to take more advantage of. Indeed, Ken Allen, CEO DHL Express, explains that: “If you consider developing countries as the growth markets of the future, then SMEs in industrialised economies need to review their approaches to emerging markets and identify new strategies that will help them to compete internationally in the future,” And, despite the high-growth story being touted by international media, Africa is still viewed with reservation by SMEs. An unstable political environment and underdeveloped infrastructure mean that many SMEs back down.
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