Exports by Indian Manufacturing SMEs: Regional Patterns and Determinants
A unique firm level database was used to shed lights on national and regional patterns of SME export contribution in manufacturing activities. An eclectic conceptual framework for SME export performance was developed based on the reviews of extant theories of international trade, which incorporate firm-, sector-, policy- and region-specific variables. The model was estimated for using the Censored Quantile Regression. SMEs are found to have modest roles in the manufacturing exports from India during 1991–2008 and their exports is mostly dominated by low technology products. Regionally, SME manufacturing exports is heavily concentrated with Southern states alone accounting for half of it during 2000–08, followed by Western India. The export determinant analysis brought to the fore the significance of certain key physical and economic infrastructure for SMEs, particularly access to ports, power, telecommunications and loan finance. Local market conditions, namely the size, growth and per capita income of the host states also favourably affect SME export activities. SMEs are more dependent on foreign technologies for enhancing their exporting rather than in-house R&D. Apart from improving the key business supporting infrastructure, the state policy makers may better enhance export orientation of SMEs by networking them to R&D facilities and providing easier access to information on overseas markets. This is because SMEs are more dependent on foreign technologies for enhancing their exporting rather than in-house R&D. Relatively smaller enterprises need greater support as they are disadvantaged by their size.
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