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.
If you are interested in doing business in Italy, you can find more information on the following websites:
- “Why Invest in Italy” by the Ministry of Economic Development
- The macroeconomic information provided by the Department of the Treasury of the Ministry of Economy and Finance
- The statistics on the Italian economy provided by the Bank of Italy (Italy’s central bank)
- Italia Startup Visa
- The Italian Business Register, where you can find official information about companies with headquarters or local units in Italy.
- Italian Trade & Investment AgencyTrade & Investment Agency
- Sace – Supports Italian companies, especially SMEs, who want to grow in Italy and in the global market.
- Simest – Part of the CDP Group’s Export and Internationalization Hub, a single point of contact for companies that want to compete and grow internationally.
- Confindustria – The main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy.
- Confapi – Italian Confederation of small and medium-sized private industry.
- Confcommercio – Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Professional Activities and Self-Employment.
- Confartigianato – Artisans and Small Entrepreneurs Confederation.
- CNA – National Confederation of Crafts.
- Confagricoltura – General Confederation of Italian Agriculture.