Brazil’s micro and small firms are picking up space on the international market. Between 1988 and 2003 the number of Brazilian micro and small firms that engaged in export activities increased 21%, from 5,778 to 7,002.
Over the same period, their foreign sales grew 31.9%, from US$ 1.086 billion to US$ 1.515 billion. Of this latter sum, micro firms were responsible for US$ 132.4 million, while small firms accounted for US$ 1.382 billion (0.2% and 2.2%, respectively, of the country’s total exports).
The encouraging results of the study “Micro and Small Firms in Brazilian Exports,” announced yesterday by the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), indicate that conditions are improving each year for small firms to keep selling abroad on a continuous basis.
Beginning in November the study, which was conducted by the Foreign Trade Studies Center Foundation (Funcex), will be updated each semester, to provide the sector a better accompaniment.
A big share of the sector’s good performance follows in the wake of government measures to stimulate exports, such as the Exporters’ Consortium created by the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex Brazil/MIDCT).
Add to this the Post Office’s Easy Export program, the National Network of Foreign Trade Operators, and diversification of the national export portfolio, which introduced new companies and products to the international market.
“As well as expanding employment, exportation enlarges market options, incorporates new technologies, raises quality standards, and leads to improvements in the training of the labor force,” emphasized Gustavo Morelli, Sebrae Manager of Strategies and Guidelines.
He explained that the study dealt with various business aspects, such as export destination, categories of products, export frequency, degree of technology, and dynamism of export products.
The research covered the country’s 11,271 exporters of industrial goods, in every state and the Federal District.
The methodology that was adopted considered as micro firms those with up to 19 employees and annual exports up to US$ 300 thousand.
Small firms were those with 20-99 employees and annual exports between US$ 300 thousand and US$ 2.5 million.
Translator: David Silberstein