Thanks to its position within the European Union and its highly diversified economy, Italy offers a number of benefits to companies looking to expand their operations internationally. Below are some of the key benefits of doing business in Italy.
Access to the Eurozone
Italy’s industrial triangle (Milan, Turin, Genova) is favourably positioned near other rich areas such as the Rhone-Alpes and the European core of the heavy industry: the Rhine-Ruhr region. In addition to this, as the EU has gradually expanded to the east and embraced former Eastern Block countries, Italy has gone from being the southern border of the Union to occupying its very centre. Whilst Italy’s territory mostly borders the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas, Italy shares its frontiers with fellow EU members France, Austria and Slovenia, as well as with Switzerland. Moreover, a short ferry trip separates it from Greece and all the former members of Yugoslavia. In the future, a project to create a rail and motorway corridor linking Western Europe with the Balkan Peninsula will place Italy at the very heart of modern Europe making it a great place for doing business.
A Flexible and Diversified Economy
As well as Italy’s excellent geographic position which offers international organisations doing business in Italy access to both its internal market and that of its bordering countries, the country also boasts a strong and diversified economy. Vibrant sectors in Italy include tourism, raw mineral extraction and processing, textiles, car production and of course fashion. Although it did suffer in the 2008 credit crunch, Italy boasted one of the highest per capita incomes in the Union (CIA World Factbook) for a long time and has one of the highest export rates in the world.
Government Support and Initiatives
GDP dropped by 0.2% in the last three months of 2009, but there are signs of recovery. Italy can in fact count on a unique combination of a small number of large companies that can rely on regular support from the Italian government – such as the car manufacturers FIAT and telecommunications group Telecom Italia – and a large number of SMEs, usually family-run, that manufacture high-quality consumer goods.
The combination of local businesses on the one hand and government-backed groups on the other has given rise to a unique economic landscape whose intricacies are hard to grasp without access to insider knowledge. Communicaid’s Doing Business in Italy cross cultural awareness training course offers the tools to address the cultural barriers a company doing business in Italy is highly likely to encounter, as well as strategies from individuals who have extensive experience living and doing business there.