Title: Export barriers and internationalisation: evidence from SMEs in an emergent African economy

Authors: John O. Okpara, Jean D. Kabongo

Addresses: Department of Management, College of Business, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Sutliff Hall, Room 266, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 1301, USA. ' Department of Business Administration, Millersville University, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551 0302, USA

Abstract: It has also been widely accepted that exports make significant contributions to economic development and well-being of a nation. For example, the export-led growth hypothesis (ELGH) postulates that export expansion is one of the major determinants of economic development. It holds that the overall economic growth of a nation can be generated not only by increasing the amounts of labour and capital within the economy, but also by expanding exports. Based on this premise, this study aims to examine perceived factors impeding the development of export activities in Nigeria. Data were collected from 120 firms in four major manufacturing cities in Nigeria. Our findings show that the major barriers to export development include lack of finance to support export activities, lack of qualified personnel to support export planning, foreign competition, lack of knowledge on how to export, poor infrastructure, corruption and bureaucratic bottlenecks. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords: Africa; Nigeria; barriers; exports; internationalisation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; emerging economies; economic development; export-led growth hypothesis; export expansion; economic growth; finance; financial support; qualified personnel; planning; foreign competition; knowledge; infrastructure; corruption; bureaucracy; bottlenecks; Aba; Kano; Lagos; Port Harcourt.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2010.034394

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2010 Vol.5 No.2, pp.169 - 187

Published online: 02 Aug 2010 *

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