It is a very open economy, a welcoming place for investors and has taken significant steps towards restoring investor’s trust and confidence.
After a series of intense reforms implemented since 2011, Italy is now 8th globally and 4th in the EU, in the “2019 FDI Confidex Index”; up 2 ranks in a year (5 in 2 years), now ahead of the likes of Netherlands and Sweden. This significant rise proves renewed interest for the country, considering Italy had fallen out of the top 25 from 2007 to 2014.
According to recent studies in 2017, Italy was ranked 19th in the world and 5th in Europe for inward FDI flows in 2017 ($ 17 billion). This put it ahead of Netherland ($ 58 billion), France ($ 50 billion), Germany ($ 35 billion) and Spain ($ 19 billion) showing renewed interest for the country. Companies owned by foreign investors now employ over 1.2 million people in the Peninsula, of which 500,000 are in manufacturing.
Business in Italy have duty free access to more than 30 national markets within the European Economic Area and over 500 million high earning consumers.
The country takes full advantage from its natural location and the crossroad of the Mediterranean and Europe thanks to a strong and constantly improving transportation infrastructure (highways, highspeed rail, ports and airports) developed on its two key axes: North-South and West-East, allowing the fast and easy access across markets.
Worldwide direct investments in the last few years have grown more than GDP and exports, becoming one of the main drivers of globalization. The United States is confirmed as the first investor country abroad in 2017, with $ 342 billion, followed by Japan ($ 160 billion) and China ($ 125 billion).
As for incoming foreign direct investment, the United States is also the main destination country ($ 275 billion), followed by China ($ 136 billion), Hong Kong ($104 billion), Brazil ($ 63 billion) and Singapore ($ 62 billion).