17 Oct 2017, 12:30 - 13:30, Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, WTI, Bern

Internationalization of SME and the role of global cities : Exploring the case of Swiss SME and distant Asian emerging markets

Brown Bag Seminar by Philippe Régnier, Dean for Applied Research & Development at the School of Management in Fribourg, and Pascal Wild, Assistant Professor at the School of Management in Fribourg


The paper suggests a conceptual framework to study the internationalization of foreign/OECD-based SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) attracted by fast growing emerging markets, such as China and other Asian economies, and the supportive role of global cities as market gate focal points providing a wide range of financial and non-financial services facilitating emerging market entry. In other words, the hypothesis is that a number of global cities plays an important business intermediation role, including vis-à-vis distant and difficult regional emerging markets. This research is to bring up added value to the study of global cities, which has been envisaged so far exclusively in terms of their global growth as contributed by transnational corporations. The literature reveals that the business intermediation role of global cities has been studied in terms of services provided to transnational corporations and their affiliates, which tend to concentrate their regional offices and other business coordinating logistics and management in such cities.

The first part of this contribution aims to propose a conceptual framework that combines studies in international business management with a focus on SME internationalization on the one hand, together with knowledge from economic geography with a focus on global cities on the other hand. In the second part, an empirical study of Swiss SME internationalization vis-à-vis Asian emerging markets and their relative presence in global cities provides scientific evidence.


Biographies of the Speakers

Prof. Dr Philippe Régnier is Dean for Applied Research & Development at the School of Management in Fribourg, Senior Lecturer at School of Managemnt in Geneva, and Scientific Director of the Swiss HES-SO / SEFRI Research & Development Program 2017-2020 in entrepreneurship and appropriate technologies for the development of emerging countries of the Francophonie. His field of specialization is international development economics, with a focus on emerging economies and markets and the role of small business economics in those economies and the industrialized economies of the OECD.

Pascal Wild is Assistant Professor at the School of Management in Fribourg. After some professional experience in auditing and finance, he joined the School of Management Fribourg as a research collaborator and started to specialize in international business management. His doctoral research project deals with the role of Singapore as a global city, facilitating Swiss SME internationalization into Southeast Asian / ASEAN emerging markets of about 600 million potential consumers.