International trade has traditionally been the purview of large, multi-national companies. A few short years ago, small and medium-sized businesses didn't have access to many of the advanced systems or in-depth information that would allow them to expand overseas and reap the benefits of reaching entirely new markets for their products and services.
Today, 98% of all known US companies who export are small and medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees, accounting for 33 percent of U.S. exporting value. The largest year over year increase in the number of companies exporting also comes from those companies with 100 to 500 employees.1 By all indications, that trend will continue as companies look to harness the power of international business.
Trends in Global Consumption
The key source of demand and consumption globally is the middle class. Over the next 15 years, the global middle class will expand exponentially, with estimates as high as 5 billion additional people. While the U.S. and other European markets have traditionally been at the top of demand and consumption, growth of middle class consumption in these markets is expected to be weak over the next few years. At the same time, emerging economies, particularly China and India, are expected to expand dramatically.3