Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2017, 65, 1055-1064
Published online 2017-07-03

The Specifics of the Internationalization Process of Czech SMEs in the Food Industry

Marcela Tuzová, Martina Toulová, Lea Kubíčková

Department of Marketing and Trade, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00, Brno, Czech Republic

The aim of this paper is to define the specifics of the internationalization process of Czech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry. The food industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU which consists mainly of SMEs. However, in the Czech Republic it has to face increasing imports of foreign food products because of growing globalization, while exports lag behind. Thus, enterprises should be encouraged to internationalize in a greater extent to maintain their competitiveness. The paper explores the main motives, barriers and risks involved in internationalization as perceived by these enterprises. The results are based on primary data obtained by questionnaire surveys performed among Czech food industry SMEs, thus it is based on data about SME’s real experiences and perception of interntaionalization process. According to our results, Czech SMEs from food industry are driven to internationalize mainly by their efforts to grow or by unsolicited foreign demand for their product. However, as the biggest barriers are perceived those connected with the lack of knowledge about foreign market and administrative requirements. The identified motives and barriers are compared with results of similar researches from Slovakia and Poland. Moreover, the results of Czech SMEs risk perception in internationalization are depicted in risk matrix which assess not only the effect of risk but also the possibility of its occurrence.


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