Italy represents a strategic gateway to 500 million consumers across the European Union and to 270 million in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and is the main thoroughfare linking southern Europe to central and eastern Europe... Italy is the 2nd largest manufacturing economy in Europe, the 5th largest globally (World Bank) and the 9th largest exporter in the world.
A Top Economy
Italy is one of the 3 key economies within the Eurozone with a GDP worth EUR 1,72 billion, accounting for 16% of the Eurozone market. The domestic market offers many opportunities, with a population of more than 60 million and GDP per capita in excess of EUR 27,700.
Strategic Logistic Hub
Italy represents a strategic gateway to 500 million consumers across the European Union and to 270 million in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and is the main thoroughfare linking southern Europe to central and eastern Europe. Transport networks include 6,000 km of motorways (AISCAT, 2016), 1,350 km of high-speed rail (RFI, 2017) and strategic ports for maritime freight and transhipment along the Italian coast and islands.
Key Manufacturing Player
Italy is the 2nd largest manufacturing economy in Europe, the 5th largest globally (World Bank) and the 9th largest exporter in the world, selling goods over EUR 500 Billion, maintaining a 2.9% worldwide market share (WTO) and holding a rare export trade surplus for goods among developed countries. Italy holds leading positions for trade surplus in 899 products out of 5,117 marketed goods (according to the most detailed breakdown of world trade by industry): 1st in 353 products, 2nd in 227 products and 3rd in 319 products (Fondazione Symbola).
Made in Italy Competitiveness
Investing in Italy means having access to unique expertise in leading sectors, such as robotics, fashion, design and food. Companies operating in Italy can also rely on extensive networks of SMEs and manufacturing clusters throughout the country, able to supply high-quality intermediate products specifically tailored to meet customers’ needs in a wide range of sectors (industrial machinery, metals, chemicals, plastics, paper, ceramics, textile, marine industries, etc.). Continued global growth of the middle classes and the increasing numbers of tourist visits are resulting in increased demand for ‘Made in Italy’ products that are viewed as being prestigious and of high-quality.
Italy’s skilled workforce offers an overall better cost performance than its comparable European partners. The labour cost in Italy is in fact below the Eurozone average and, on an hourly basis, labour costs in Italy are about 22% lower than in France and 16% lower than in Germany (Eurostat). 31 Italian universities are ranked in the top 500 academic institutions in the Times Higher Education University Ranking.
R&D and Innovation
Research and innovation are widely integrated into industrial processes with a long tradition of excellence in many fields of physics and engineering (e.g. robotics), life sciences (e.g. neurosciences), and social sciences and the humanities (e.g. high-tech archaeological techniques). Italian researchers, internationally recognized as highly productive in terms of articles and citations, actively participate and/or lead R&D European networks, such as the CERN physics laboratory, and top-level research infrastructures of transnational interest in sectors such as aerospace, systems biology, earth observation, and nano-biotechnology, marine and maritime research, etc. Italy also ranks 5th in the EU for the contribution of high-tech and medium-tech products to the trade balance as % of total exports & imports of products, and 6th for design applications (Eurostat, Research & Innovation Performance Survey).
Quality of Life and Cultural Offer
Italian cities are overflowing with ancient monuments and treasures, and this - combined with its world-famous art, culture, music, food, and quality goods - gives Italy an unparalleled quality of life. Italy is ranked 1st worldwide for UNESCO World Heritage (53 sites). As a result, international tourist arrivals to Italy are more than 50 million annually, placing Italy 5th among the world’s top destinations (Untwo). As the 7th top global country brand relating to ‘experience’ (Nation Brand Index), Italy inspires passion and interest over its heritage & culture, tourism and ‘Made in Italy’ goods. The ‘Made in Italy’ factor makes every brand unique and attractive.
Pro Investment Incentives
Innovative investments: stimulate private investments in Industry 4.0 technology drivers; increase private expenditure in R&D and innovation; expand key open innovation relationships between mature companies and high-tech startups. Skills: spread the 4.0 culture through educational and vocational training programs through several Technological Clusters and also by Industrial PhDs; create Competence Centers and Digital Innovation Hubs.
Open To FDI
According to the “FDI Confidence Index”, Italy ranks 10th overall globally. Italy’s improvement was influenced by several reforms enacted since 2014 to facilitate investments, including those to streamline labour policies and make starting a business easier (A.T. Kearney). The Italian Association of Foreign Banks Index, measuring Italy’s attractiveness on data gathered from foreign managers and institutional investors, has increased to 40.3.
Public Support To Foreign Investors
As one stop shop, the Italian Trade Agency takes care of the full investment cycle.
Preinvestment information: market and business environment; taxes, legal system and labour market; incentive programme framework and financial scouting.
Business set-up: location scouting & site visit; authorisations; permits for foreign investors; Human Resources research; Liaison Office with Public Administration.
After care: assistance for new projects and expansion.
KEY SECTORS IN ITALY
The aerospace industry is taking on an increasingly important role for regional economic development in Italy. The technological skills and know-how of Italian aeronautics and aerospace companies, combined with the increasingly advanced technological knowledge required in production processes and Italian companies’ growing participation in major international research programmes, have become critical growth drivers for Italy in the sector. The Italian aerospace sector is developing an ever more international strategic approach.
The Italian Agrifood sector represents an excellence that stands out in terms of quality, food safety, technological innovation, sustainability, biodiversity, and respect for tradition. Italy is, in fact, a country characterized by great territorial and climatic differences that have been shaped in cultures, stories and traditions, exceptionally varied and unique. These main characteristics have led to the establishment of a large number of small companies, often family-owned, which, facing the challenge of price-competition on foreign markets, have mainly focused on enhancing the uniqueness of their products.
The automotive industry has played and continues to play a very important role in Italy’s economic development, especially given the huge number of jobs filled. This is true for the entire value chain, from vehicle and component design to the manufacture and marketing of finished goods both inside the country and around the world. With regard to vehicle production, the Italian automobile industry ranked 6th in Europe and 19th in the world. In terms of vehicles sales, the Italian market is the 4th largest in Europe and 9th in the world.
Chemical & Pharma
Italy is historically one of the largest producers of active ingredients in the world (and accounts for 11% of production). The Italian pharmaceutical raw materials industry is mainly concentrated on the production of active ingredients, which represent about 85% of total turnover. A significant portion of the production of the sector is destined for export and in particular one of the regions that absorbs a greater share of exports is North America, reflecting the fact that the Italian active ingredients industry has consolidated over time a position of qualified supplier for the most demanding markets in terms of product quality, thanks to its strengths that guarantee its reliability.
Italian consumer goods are known all over the world: eyewear, fashion, jewelry, furniture and design are among the most requested in the world thanks to the high quality and innovative abilities of the Italian business sector.
The objective of the Italian bioeconomy is to create a prosperous economy that respects the environment through the use of biological resources and renewable energy sources, with an ever-decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.
In recent years the sector (accounting for around 1,300 total enterprises) has grown to an aggregate turnover of €78 billion (€58 billion for electrical engineering and electronics and €20 billion euros for general contractors), 4% of which invested in research and development, and over 468,000 employees.
The ICT sector is playing an increasingly strategic role in Italy, as it now provides fundamental contributions to all other sectors of the economy. Investments in ICT have increased in all sectors of the economy, from services through to manufacturing, with a major increase in the public sector as well. Technology hubs also play a key role in the sector. They attract innovative businesses, promote technology transfers, and contribute to the development of new businesses. There are noteworthy tech hubs located in 9 Italian regions: Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont, Veneto, Friuli Vene-zia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Abruzzo and Sicily. R&D spending by Italian ICT companies amounts to 10.6% of total R&D spending across all sectors.
Located at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, with 40 major ports and 42 airports, Italy is a strategic gateway between Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
In Italy, the broad life science sector (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, ICT solutions for healthcare and all corresponding service sectors) is, from an economic and technological point of view, one of the most strategic and attractive sectors, both in Italy and globally. Revenue and R&D investments are all on the rise.
Due to the progress made in the fields of design, construction and techniques, the Italian industry has conquered a world-leading position in the machinery sector, as witnessed by the result reached in the international export flows.
The constant improvement of macroeconomic indicators and the significant amount of liquidity boosted by low interest rates are the main factors contributing to the real estate market current growth.
Investing in Italy means having access to unique expertise in leading sectors, such as robotics, fashion, design and food. Companies operating in Italy can also rely on extensive networks of SMEs and manufacturing clusters throughout the country, able to supply high-quality intermediate products specifically tailored to meet customers’ needs in a wide range of sectors.
ITA - Italian Trade Agency is the Governmental agency that supports the business development of our companies abroad and promotes the attraction of FDI Italy.