In terms of foreign trade, Italy, Europe’s fourth economic power, is smiling again having notched up a trade surplus of €30.4 billion in 2013, or 1.9% of GDP. France remains a leading partner for this country (as its second-biggest customer and second-biggest supplier), behind Germany. 5 business sectors offer excellent opportunities for expanding into the Italian market.
4.4 million successful Italian SMEs. Italy’s entrepreneurial fabric is particularly well developed: it is home to 4.4 million businesses (99% of which are SMEs) compared with 3.6 million in France. For many of them, imports account for a substantial share of their business. Italy’s mid-sized enterprises represent a GDP per employee of €45,591, which puts Italy at the top of the EU’s countries. In 2013, Italy’s foreign trade produced excellent results, with a trade surplus of €30.4 billion, its best performance in more than 15 years, up markedly compared with what was already a good performance in 2012.
Germany and France, Italy’s first and second partners. However, this improvement above all reflects a sharp decline in imports (-10.5% over 2 years), mainly concerning energy products. Italian exports (€390 billion in 2013) remain largely oriented toward EU countries which, in 2013, accounted for more than 53% of its total exports. Its top 5 target countries are Germany, France, the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom respectively.
Concerning Italian imports (€359 billion in 2013), Germany and France are its two leading suppliers. France is positioned as Italy’s leading supplier for agri-food products.
Representing Italy’s third biggest supplier since 2007, China’s market share has increased to reach 6.4%. Next come the Netherlands, followed by Russia, for which imports increased significantly in 2013 (by almost 10%) due to gas purchases.
5 promising sectors. Ubifrance has identified the following 5 promising sectors for going into business on the Italian market:
- Health and well-being.
- Agricultural and food products; the underlying theme of the next World Expo 2015 in Milan will be “Feeding the planet, Energy for Life“. Discover the 3,300 Italian firms working in this sector on Europages.
- Information/communication technologies.
- Franchise stores.
- Industrial subcontracting.
Go ahead and register your business on Europages if you want Italian companies seeking your expertise to find and contact you!