Our knowledge about the scope and scale of SMEs participation in global economic flows is rather small. Few studies of the issue show limited export potential of the sector and concentrate on numerous barriers faced by smaller firms on the world market. Does the low share of SMEs in exports mean that internationalisation of the sector is very limited? Disintegration of business activities that can be observed now covers almost all spheres of economic activity - from R&D to distribution and from manufacturing to office services. The cases shown in the paper confirm that today's business environment is more conductive to expansion of SMEs cooperating with larger companies than ever before. More, it seems that current changes in business organisation might be of great importance for SMEs internationalisation. So, positive patterns of SMEs cooperation with large internationalized companies give us an idea about the exact ways in which smaller companies can participate in global trade. It is argued in the paper that traditional understanding of foreign trade has restricted value for the analysis of SMEs presence in the global market because it provides underestimated share of SMEs' in worldwide trade. It seems that to cover the role of all firms which products are sold abroad - no matter of the character of their contribution - extended approach to the studies of international trade should be applied. In this approach both passive and active participation, direct and indirect ones should be taken into account to get entire image of the SMEs role in global market.
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