Towards a Theory of Internationalization
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Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten
Chapter 41: Internationalization of Welsh SMEs: The Role of Wales Trade International
David Pickernell, David Brooksbank, Helena Snee, Farid Ullah and Dylan Jones-Evans Introduction and theoretical background to research Structural change has been a consistent feature of the manufacturing economy in Wales over the last 25 years. Nor is it just coal and steel which have been reduced to a fraction of their previous size and importance. Industrial sectors ranging from chemicals to clothing have seen substantial reductions in their relative labour force and output and many of the newer industries brought in to replace the industries on which Wales used to rely (such as electronics and automotive components) have themselves moved on again, at least partially, no more than a generation later. Policy makers have responded with initiatives aimed at reducing reliance on previous sources of new employment, such as inward investment. In particular, they have sought to address historically low levels of indigenous business creation and have directed much of the new funding available through the European Union’s Structural Funds towards this end. Despite some scepticism about the evidence base, job creation policies in Wales post 2000 have been almost entirely focused on creating and developing indigenous enterprise within micro-businesses, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the voluntary sector. The creation of a Welsh Assembly, with devolved responsibility for economic development, also heralded a fundamental rethink of strategies to promote economic development in Wales generally. Approximately two-thirds of Wales, entitled ‘West Wales and the Valleys’ qualify for EU Objective One status, having GDP per capita levels averaging under 75 per...
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