Palestinian Businesses in the West Bank: An Exploratory Study of SME Exporting Activities, Motivations, Needs and Barriers


Article info

1998-09-07
1999-05-23
1999-05-23
0 - 0

Keywords

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a research study carried out in the West Bank (Palestine) as part of British Council sponsored partnership initiative which had the objective of developing a greater understanding of exporting activity of small to medium size enterprises SME's in that area. The study was developed from research undertaken by the International Marketing Research Unit at Shefield Hallam University, where it was found that many local SMEs regard exporting as an add on activity. The research established that many companies failed to develop a clear strategic direction in international marketing and perceived many barriers to further development in international markets. By contrast a small but significant minority succeeded in international markets not only because they continually worked towards improving the capabilities of the firm, but also invested heavily in embedding the international trading culture into it. It was decided to carry out a similar survey across the West Bank amongst a sample of SME's of a similar size and nature to ascertain the perceptions as to the motivations and barriers firms developing their markets internationally. The reason for selecting small projects as the subject of study is the pioneering role they play in the Palestinian economic development. They also form the safety valve against the spread of unemployment as a result of deteriorating political conditions and continuous closures imposed by Israel which prevent thousands of Palestinian employees to cross the so-called Green line into Israel. Establishing a network of small projects creates work opportunities for many employees. For instance, the sector of small projects in the United States is considered the biggest sector with regard to the number of employees. In another respect, the nature of the Palestinian economy makes it, at least, in the short-run open for absorbing big projects which take many employees in similar ways to the industrial countries and Israel, especially the Palestinian economy which lacks big capital necessary for running small projects. Besides, it lacks skilled labor to operate modern machines. In fact, small projects, do not mostly need high technological skills which make them attract the available labor force. There are differences between countries in defining the size of small projects. At the same time where a 500 employees project is considered very big in Palestine, it is considered a medium or even a small-size project in the United States. Therefore, it is obvious that the nature of a project is defined according to the number of employees and invested capital. This area is of particular interest at a time where the world community has been investing heavily in money and time to help the region economically through the peace process. This paper discusses the findings and implications it has for support agencies encouraging SMEs on the West Bank to follow internationislation strategies.

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المشاريع التجارية الفلسطينية في الضفة الغربية: دراسة استكشافية للأنشطة التصديرية للمشاريع الصغيرة والمتوسطة: الدوافع والاحتياجات والمعوقات


معلومات المقال

1998-09-07
1999-05-23
1999-05-23
0 - 0

الكلمات الإفتتاحية

الملخص

إن الغرض من هذا البحث هو دراسة المشاريع التجارية الفلسطينية في الضفة الغربية من حيث أنشطتها التسويقية والتصديرية وخاصة الاحتياجات والدوافع والمعوقات. وقد تركزت أسئلة الاستبانة على ألأمور المتعلقة بحجم المشاريع، عدد سنوات التصدير، البلدان التي يجري التصدير إليها، معدلات التصدير والمعوقات والحوافز. كما أظهرت النتائج أن العديد من المشاريع التجارية الفلسطينية التي تسعى لتحسين إمكانية التصدير، إلا أن ذلك لا يعتبر رغم توفر الفرص. كما أظهرت النتائج أن المشاريع التجارية الفلسطينية ما والت تنتهج الطرق التقليدية في أنشطتها التصديرية والتسويقية ولا تعتمد إلا قليلا على الوسائل الحديثة مثل (الانترنت) وعقد المؤتمرات الالكترونية. ويؤمل أن تمهد هذه الدراسة الطريق أمام الباحثين المهتمين بإيجاد الوسائل الضرورية للتغلب على المشاكل التي تعترض الأنشطة التصديرية. , وما من شك في أن هناك لمزيد من الدراسات والأبحاث في هذا المجال لإعادة صورة أكثر وضوحا للاقتصاد الفلسطيني وإمكانية النهوض به.

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An-Najah National University
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