The Process of Internationalization in Emerging SMEs and Emerging Economies
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The Process of Internationalization in Emerging SMEs and Emerging Economies

Edited by Hamid Etemad

This book, the fourth volume in the McGill International Entrepreneurship Series, brings together 27 top scholars to explore the structural complexities, evolving relations and dynamic forces that are shaping a new system of multi-polar, multi-level international business relations. It examines entrepreneurial efforts and relations in different national and corporate cultures, each embedded in and also constrained by country-specific socio-economic structures and each vying for consumer attentions in competitive global markets.
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Chapter 4: The internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises from emerging economies

Christian Keen


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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