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.

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.


Key facts:
  • SMEs had a share of 46% in EU imports of goods and a share of 37% in exports of goods.
  • Medium (50-249 persons employed) enterprises had shares in imports of 21% and in exports of 20%
  • 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.
  • Large importers and exporters accounted for 51% of the value of imports and 58% of the value of exports in intra-EU trade
  • In extra-EU trade, they accounted for 58% of the value of imports and 68% of the value of exports


Source: Eurostat


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