This paper looks at the participation of SMEs in the global market with a focus on SMEs in transitional economies. We identify a number of barriers that SMEs have to face in international markets due to their smallness. We then discuss several competitive strategies that are relevant to SMEs in transitional economies. They include subcontracting, participating in value chains, developing niche market and networking. By presenting the case of Vietnamese SMEs exports we show that there is a lot to be done for them to participate further in international markets. Finally, we offer some practical policy recommendations.