As the third largest European economy, the Italian market is currently experiencing strong growth. Italy is opening up to competition in several key sectors (energy and telephony, among others). The country has many important assets: low private debt loads, the non-existence of a real estate bubble, and tight public deficit management.
The Italian economy benefited from an economic boost in terms of global demand, which translated into renewed trust. Exports and investments were reinvigorated in the last years, increasing the GDP by 1%. Italy is among the 10 countries with the highest export rates, with exports currently making up 60% of the country’s GDP and 90% of its exports stemming from the manufacturing sector. Its main partners are the European Union (Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom), China, the United States, Switzerland, and Russia.
Italy’s industrial base is dense and dynamic, comprising a network of four million SMBs that are able to adapt quickly and remain agile in times of change. These entrepreneurs are creative and innovative, and the technical labour force is extremely qualified in terms of knowledge and quality standards.
The Italian textile industry consists primarily of small- and medium-sized family businesses. Over 90% of industrial companies have fewer than 100 employees. The luxury product market (haute couture, cars, gourmet foods) represents a significant share of Italian economic activity, and Italy remains one of the main exporters of these types of goods.
More generally, Italy’s main industries are state-of-the-art machinery, motor vehicles, chemical products, pharmaceutical products, electric products, clothing, and fashion.
Altios in Italy
With over 15 years of experience in the field, the Italian Altios team is based in Turin and plans to open an additional office in Milan in the coming months. Altios also shares its premises with over a dozen businesses offering flexible, expert services in order to quickly establish the company in Italy.
Marketing is quite regionalized and segmented in Italy, where culture varies by region. Knowledge of these differences is therefore essential and sets Altios apart—the company has supported more than 500 businesses to date by offering its clients business development, set-up, and investment services.
“In this market, design is very important,” said Mirko Mottino, Italy Director at Altios. He is referring to the luxury market, which plays an important role in Italy, but also to the aerospace, motorized and automobile engineering markets, which are currently expanding.
In the field: market characteristics
Italian entrepreneurs greatly appreciate relationships and human interaction. For this reason, Altios puts structures in place that allow its clients to be as close as possible to suppliers and potential partners.
“If it’s possible, it's crucial to be present in person,” said Mottino, who has advised foreign investors in Italy for over 15 years. “In order to be as close as possible, we encourage them to work directly with the manufacturer, without an intermediary.”
New office opening in Milan
Growth in the Italian market is palpable. Altios plans to open a second office in Milan in 2017 and double its headcount. There is tremendous market potential for this luxury city, open to the world.
Thanks to its large economic and political networks, Altios intends to strengthen its role as a partner of Italian businesses.
Interview with Mirko Mottino – Altios Italy Director