Overseas expansion fundamental to business, say local business leaders

Malta, 17 May 2013 - Malta's SMEs have been urged to internationalise if they want to boost their business prospects. Despite strong evidence that firms operating overseas are faring better than those that operate only in their home market, only one in five local SMEs are planning to expand their business overseas. This need to boost international trade was one of the messages of a well-attended event organised by the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and Regus, held at Regus' business centre in Swatar. Part of the Malta Chamber's Linking Enterprise programme, the event focused on best practices in and real-life advice about internationalisation.

Presenting at the event, Regus' Malta General Manager, Jankarl Farrugia, outlined recent Regus research which showed that, for the second year running, exporting firms are enjoying greater revenue and profit growth than their domestically focused counterparts.[1] Nevertheless, many of Malta's SMEs continue to disregard the opportunities abroad.

"Entering a new market is clearly one of the toughest tasks for any business," says Farrugia. "Property and infrastructure are perceived as key challenges or obstacles for firms entering a new market, and it can be a risk for micro or small businesses to conduct market research and expand into new markets when time and resources are tight.

"But there is plenty of assistance available for SMEs, and Regus' global network of flexible workspaces allows firms of all sizes to test out new markets without requiring upfront capital investment or long-term property commitments. Such support and flexibility makes the task of internationalisation much more manageable and affordable."

Farrugia shared Regus' own experiences of internationalisation, having grown from one country to a network of 100 countries, and he described the opportunities and challenges encountered by Regus' customers.

Klaus Pedersen, Internationalisation Manager at the Malta Chamber, also spoke at the event, giving an overview of the internationalisation support services available to Malta Chamber members.

[1] "Breaking new ground", Regus, January 2013.