It is no secret that Italy and, indeed, Europe as a whole, are not in their best shape ever, especially after the recent events within the EU last June. However, it is equally clear that Italy is attracting huge interest from foreign investors, Chinese in particular. Italy, in fact, is in the third place in Europe after England and France for collecting Chinese investments. According to the Milan Chamber of Commerce (Reprint-Politecnico di Milano, April, 2015) 40% of Chinese companies is based in Lombardy; afterwards, Veneto (32 firms), Lazio (20), Piemonte and Emilia Romagna (14). About 250 are Chinese-owned Italian firms and, among these, 155 were start-up companies.

The 2016 seems to be the right time for foreign entrepreneurship to plan important investments in Italy and there are many factors that make the country attractive right now. Why, then, choosing Italy? We listed below those which we believe are the main reasons, such as:

  1. Because it is one of the largest markets in the world as well as a huge player in manufacturing and international trade
  2. For logistic and strategic reasons, mainly linked to its position within Europe
  3. Because the Made in Italy is known and recognized worldwide, and it is a brand synonymous with excellence, valued as such
  4. For its great capability of innovation, research and development, as well as its unique design
  5. Thanks to the hi-skilled human resources
  6. Because of its quality of life, with no competitors, anywhere in the world
  7. Because of the many reforms that the country is implementing, with the objective of facilitating the development of new businesses, reducing bureaucracy, improving the education and legal systems
  8. Thanks to the financial and taxes incentives reserved to those who invest in R&D – 25% of tax credit – on machineries and capital goods – 15% of tax credit – and also include incentives for real estate, especially in restyling and rebuilding with a “green and energy saving” point of view
  9. Because the Italian political, economical and social systems are very open to foreigners.

What are the most interesting sectors right now for businesses and entrepreneurs willing to invest in Italy? The choice is quite wide and must necessarily take into account several factors.

Just looking at the data closely linked to the performances, the Made in Italy sectors, such as textile, fashion, footwear and yacht design and building has been able to change its business model keeping quite good results.

Positive performances have been reached by the mechanical sector, till now, definitely the Italian key business for the foreign trade, the chemical-pharmacy, the hi-tech and the means of transport (no cars). It’s worth pointing some data published by Il Sole 24 ore a few days ago, namely: the Italian Pharmaceutical production value is around 30 billions euro (+4.8% yOy) and over 21 billions of exports. If we add that 2.5 billion were invested in R&D, it is understandable why Italy is the second European country in this business area.

Strategically, the real estate deserves to be kept on eye by those who are looking to investments opportunies. This is mainly because of the sharp fall in prices and also of the low interest rates for mortgage.

Considering the barriers to entry, it is clear that high-tech promises excellent results. According to Inc.com, the sectors in which to invest, now, in Italy, are:

  • the drones, whose market is valued over 250 million; drones are already used pretty much in the event management, for filming, in agriculture as well as in the monitoring fields;
  • Virtual reality, on which many still struggle to see a bright future, but a business that is absolutely ready to have a boom in the near future;
  • The application of new technologies, especially internet and mobile, to the food industry; such as applications for smart kitchens knows as food analytic, capable to help you learn more about the food you are about to eat or use to cook;
  • Sustainable construction, especially the research and development of new materials and solutions that respect the environment and that also provide savings on utility bills.

It is clear, then, that investment opportunities in Italy not only exist, but are also varied and diversified. Not to mention that, as already written above, the reforms are making it easier, faster and less difficult the procedure to open a company in Italy.

If you want to know more about how to open a business in Italy, what kind of documents you need and the legal and administrative procedures, ask for further information by writing to info@dandreapartners.com