The small size of companies and the consequent level of fragmentation are the principle characteristics of the business world in the Republic of Argentina. The essence of Argentina´s economy and business is, in this sense, comparable to other countries. The European Council, at the end of 1997, made this declaration: more than 99.8% of the 17.9 millon companies in the European Union are SMEs. As time goes by this declaration has lost neither strength nor vigour. The importance of SMEs, apart from their high number, lies in their participation in macroeconomic variables such as the Gross Domestic Product, sales, imports and exports or employment. In reference to this last point, it is of interest to highlight the fact that small and medium-sized companies have been by far and away the greatest generators of employment in recent years. They were responsible for 92.7% of jobs created in 2003 and 2004, compared to 7.3% created by large companies, according to data from the Argentinian federation for medium-sized companies (CAME).
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