Challenges for the Internationalization of SMEs and the Role of Government: The Case of Malaysia
SMEs presence is significant nowadays to most economies, particularly those from emerging countries. The internationalization of these firms is no longer an option; it is indeed necessary for them to follow the wave of globalization. Despite of their constraints, Malaysian SMEs are struggling to expand into the international market and compete internationally to sustain their foothold in the country. Various factors have forced SMEs in Malaysia to engage internationally, however the ventures are arduous to be accomplished independently. As a result, the Malaysian government has initiated various efforts in supporting them to stand in the international arena. Many agencies have been established and numerous programs have been developed to encourage SMEs internationalization. This study aims to unfold the challenges faced by SMEs from emerging countries in expanding internationally by examining the business environment in the country. The study finds that, despite various supports offered by the government, Malaysian SMEs continue to struggle in the global market due various factors including market knowledge, technological and skills capabilities, and products quality.