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Internationalisation of SMEs from the European construction sector in third markets

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Drivers, challenges and policy examples

This report provides an analysis of potential areas of for public support at the EU level to EU SMEs from the construction industry in their efforts to internationalise their activities beyond the limits of the EU.


The report analyses the current state of play, it provides examples of success stories and identifies EU construction SMEs´ needs and expectations. Finally, the study presents the results of a series of workshops on areas for EU support measures.


The study covers all EU-28 countries and other target markets: Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP), Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Balkans.


The objective of this study is to present needs, gaps, and expectations (as collected in interviews) which could form the starting point for a strategy to support SMEs that want to internationalise. The research effort was aimed at drawing a picture of the current situation in terms of the needs of SMEs in the construction sector, developing an overview of the different types of support that exist already, enriched by in-depth examples of SMEs that managed to internationalise successfully (with or without public support).


Based on this qualitative information and stakeholder perceptions, the study develops an analysis of the gaps in support and proposes areas where the EU could play a more active role. The report concludes with a set of suggested actions where added value at the EU level could be expected.