FedEx: Research Shows More Than 40% of Taiwan SMEs Forecast Double-Digit Export Growth in 2017

E-commerce is Fueling Optimism among SMEs


TAIPEI, December 6, 2016 — Small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan remain broadly optimistic towards export prospects amid global economic volatility, according to a recent global research study* commissioned by FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies.

Over three quarters of the local SMEs or 79% saw stable or increased exports over the past year, generating an average of NT$39.419 million in revenue, which accounts for a significant 70% of their overall revenue. Some 42% even forecast an average double-digit growth of 17% in the year ahead. SMEs are particularly bullish on intra-regional exports, with over half or 52% anticipating 15% revenue growth on average.

“The study* proves the continued strength and agility of SMEs as they steadily weather the macroeconomic environment,” said Michael Chu, managing director, FedEx Express, Taiwan. “At the heart of SMEs’ strength is their penetration into e-commerce, which opens up a world of opportunities. This is particularly crucial in this challenging business environment as e-commerce allows SMEs to expand their income streams and build resilience in both good and bad times.”

The study* reveals the sense of optimism among the SME community is largely fueled by e-commerce potential. In Taiwan, a staggering 83% of SMEs are generating sales from e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile commerce), with average revenue at NT$13.529 million and NT$9.019 million a year, respectively. Their confidence in e-commerce continues to increase: half foresee growth in e-commerce income in the coming year.

Despite this, the penetration of social commerce (social media transactions) among SMEs is lower at 62% – versus a much higher proportion at 88% and 73% respectively in neighboring mainland China and Hong Kong. To unlock the full potential of this fast-growing trend and maintain competitiveness, it is critical for the island to catch up on e-payment development, including mobile payment and peer-to-peer (P2P) solutions, through government policy, technology and interbank infrastructure enhancements.

In fact, 44% of Taiwan SMEs cite increasing international competition as a top challenge. To navigate this new competitive landscape, SMEs are looking to logistics providers. In Taiwan, 91% of SMEs agree logistics plays an important part in their export business. An efficient supply chain is vital to enhancing the customer experience and managing bottom lines, thus helping SMEs win business.

The independent study* entitled “Global Trade in the Digital Economy: Opportunities for Small Businesses” was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of FedEx to provide valuable insights into global export opportunities and challenges facing SMEs. Completed in September 2016, the results are based on interviews with 500 senior executives of Taiwan SMEs, among a total of 9,000 globally in 17 markets including six in Asia Pacific.

* “Global Trade in the Digital Economy: Opportunities for Small Businesses”, a commissioned research study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of FedEx, September 2016.

About the research study
Harris Interactive carried out 9,000 interviews with senior executives in SMEs online and by telephone in 17 markets spanning four global regions between August and September 2016. Interviews were split equally by country with a representative mix of company sizes: micro (1-9 full-time employees), small (10-49 full-time employees) and medium (50-249 full-time employees). Different definitions were used in Brazil, Colombia and India, in line with country-specific definitions for company sizes. The sample size was approximately 500 respondents per market, with the exception of the UK, where the sample size was 1,000 respondents.