The European Union had conducted a study on European SMEs to know the latest level of internationalization, and derive reasons, recommendations and conclusions from it.
From the final reports of the study, it was revealed that, though a considerable number of European SMEs were involved in international activities, only a small percentage were involved in the common modes of internationalisation, that is imports and exports, beyond internal market.
Going in to the details, it was found that, within the EU27, 25% of SMEs export, of which about 50% found to go beyond the Internal Market (13%). Within EU27, 29% of SMEs import, of which again 50% import from countries outside Internal Market (14%). In addition to that, it was found that, the percentage of SMEs acting as a subcontractor to a foreign partner are 7%, 7% are having foreign subcontractors, the percentage of SMEs showing active interest in foreign Direct Investment are 2% and 7% of the European Union countries are having a technological cooperation with a foreign partner.
Larger companies tend to internationalize more. The percentage of SMEs which are active in both modes, exports and imports, in case of micro are 24% and 28%, small are 38% and 39%, medium sized are 53% and 55%, respectively.