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Doing business in Italy

Italy is ranked sixth among OECD countries and fourth among European countries for Gross Domestic Product, Italian production constituting more than 13% of the European Union’s GDP.

As a result of the nature of its productive system, Italy’s division into sectors of economic activity is similar to that of the principle European countries, with 27.7% devoted to manufacturing and construction and almost 70% to services. Of this latter sector, trade, transport and communications absorb an above average portion of GDP as compared with other European countries.

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Italy is a crucial crossroads for land, sea and air routes linking the North and South of Europe. The Italian market offers countless opportunities to businesses in expansion, with almost 60 million consumers and a GDP ranked fourth in the European Union. Thanks to its strategic placement, Italy makes it easy to reach the 396 million consumers of the other Union member countries and the 240 million of North Africa and the Middle East.

Of all European countries Italy has the lowest start-up costs for the biotechnology sector, and takes second place for product testing in research and development, chemicals and electronics.

Regulations and incentives

On the website dedicated to incentives, managed by the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, you can find a handbook of measures aimed at the development of Italian companies and production.

Invitalia is the reference for foreign companies that want to start or expand a business in Italy. From the preliminary stage to the post-settlement phase, the agency provides a comprehensive range of information and support services.

Finally, it was established with Legislative Decree no. 133/2014 (Decreto Sblocca Italia – art. 30) a special Foreign Investment Attraction Committee (CAIE) chaired by the Ministry of Economic Development and composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, of the Permanent Conference for relations between the State, the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano and by the Minister for Simplification and Public Administration.

Macro-economic picture

Updates on the national macroeconomic situation can be found on the Bank of Italy website. Of particular interest, in the publications section, is the quarterly updated Economic Bulletin.

Useful links

If you are interested in doing business in Italy, you can find more information on the following websites: