Entrepreneurs in Pacific Rim trade



Publication Details

Harvie, C. (2014). Entrepreneurs in Pacific Rim trade. In J. Glassman, M. Kimura & S. Zhao (Eds.), Entrepreneurs and the Creation of a Global Community : the cases of China, Japan, and the United States (pp. 130-158). China: Nanjing University Press.


Small-medium sized enterprise entrepreneurs ( SMEEs) play a key role in both developed and developing economies in terms of employment generation, output growth, export growth, poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, and the wider distribution of wealth. However, the potential of their enterprises are often not realized due to a number of factors relating to the scale of their businesses. Individual small-medium sized enterprises CSMEs) often have difficulties in achieving economies of scale in the purchase of inputs such as equipment, raw materials, finance and consulting services and are often unable to take advantage of market opportunities that require large production quantities, homogeneous standards and regular supply. Small size is also a constraint on the internalization of functions such as training, market intelligence, logistics, technology innovation, quality accreditation, while preventing the achievement of a specialized and effective internal division of labor. To preserve their narrow profit margins, small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries are often unable to introduce innovative improvements to products and processes and this limits their scope to take advantage of new market opportunities arising from the process of regional integration that could specifically include: attempt to gain access to the supply chains of trans-national corporations CTNCs), take advantage of the process of regional product fragmentation, and engagement in direct exporting and FDI opportunities. Many of the difficulties facing SMEs in developing countries are not related purely to size but also to their isolation of operation, locationally (regionally) and in terms of interaction with other similar sized enterprises. Hence, closer cooperation between SMEEs and relevant supportive institutions could be the key to overcoming such obstacles.

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