Almost 90 per cent of Cyprus’ exports, as well as over 80 per cent of imports, to and from European Union member states are done by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), data published by Eurostat on Tuesday showed.
According to Eurostat, SMEs account for an overall 98 per cent of companies trading goods within the EU, including around 70 per cent that are micro-enterprises (up to 9 people employed).
SMEs, the agency said, are responsible for about half the value of intra-EU trade in goods.
Specifically, they account for 51 per cent of intra-EU imports and 45 per cent of intra-EU exports.
In five member states, SMEs generate more than two-thirds of the total value of intra-EU exports of goods: Cyprus (88 per cent) and Latvia (81 per cent), followed by Belgium (70 per cent), Estonia (68 per cent) and the Netherlands (67 per cent).
At the opposite end of the spectrum, SMEs account for less than one third of intra-EU export value in France (21 per cent), Germany (26 per cent), Slovakia (30 per cent) and Ireland (32 per cent), followed by Poland (35 per cent), the Czech Republic (36 per cent) and Finland (38 per cent).
According to Eurostat, from all SME size classes, micro-enterprises are the largest contributors to intra-EU exports in six member states: Belgium (where micro-enterprises account for 46 per cent of total intra-EU export value), Malta (37 per cent in 2013), Hungary (26 per cent), the United Kingdom (23 per cent), Romania and Sweden (both 19 per cent).
In contrast, in ten member states they generate less than 10 per cent of total value: France, Germany, Finland (all around 4 per cent), as well as the Czech Republic, Italy (both around 5 per cent), Poland (6 per cent), Denmark (8 per cent), Slovakia, Luxembourg (both around 9 per cent) and Portugal (10 per cent).
In all member states, more than 90 per cent of enterprises exporting within the EU are SMEs, ranging from 90 per cent in the Czech Republic to over 99 per cent in Slovenia.
In the vast majority of member states, at least half the value of intra-EU imports of goods comes from SMEs.
In particular, SMEs are responsible for more than three-quarters of total import value in Latvia (85 per cent), Cyprus (82 per cent), Estonia (79 per cent), Lithuania (78 per cent) and Malta (77 per cent in 2013).
Only in France (31 per cent), Germany (34 per cent), the Czech Republic (47 per cent), Slovakia (48 per cent) and Poland (49 per cent), SMEs account for less than half of the imports.