Edited by Hamid Etemad
Chapter 4: The internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises from emerging economies
In order to understand the environment in which firms have to compete, it is useful to begin with an example of an emerging economy. Argentina is a large emerging economy characterized by rapid structural changes in its socio-economic environment and high volatility, and by the incoherence and low quality of its public policies (Spiller and Tommasi 2007). As in many emerging economies, the development of good institutions and stable, credible, well-enforced public policies have not been a priority of the political system (Abdala and Spiller 2000). To put Argentina’s long-term economic growth into perspective, the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Argentina in 1913 was 72 percent of that of the United States (US), and higher than that of France, Germany and Sweden. In 1939, the GDP per capita was four times higher than Brazil’s, and only 10 percent and 20 percent lower than France’s and Germany’s, respectively. By 1950, it was 52 percent of that of the US and still higher than that of Germany. In 1990, its GDP per capita was 28 percent of that of the US, and far behind what it was in Western European countries (de la Balze 1995).
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