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April 2022

Italy is a wonderful country, full of culture and good food, but in practice and from an economic point of view why is it worth investing in Italy?


Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth largest in the world, with a domestic market of 60 million people, a total GDP of $2.11 billion and a GDP per capita of more than $30,000 (April 2021). The country is also a major gateway to a market of 500 million consumers in the European Union and 270 in North Africa and the Middle East.


Made in Italy is a driving force of the Italian economy: those who invest in Italy gain access to an immense wealth of intellectual and specialist knowledge that is unique in the world in all fields, and extraordinary know-how in strategic sectors such as automotive, machinery, fashion and design, industry and food and wine. In recent years, Italy has also opened up to foreign investment in sensitive sectors such as energy, networks, telecommunications and transport.

In this context, those investing in the country can count on a dense network of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industrial districts that are among the most innovative in Europe: the percentage of SMEs that have introduced product and process, strategic and organisational innovations is higher than the EU average. In addition, Italy is the country in Europe with the highest rate of acceleration (85% has accelerated on the digital transformation, compared to 75.3% of the European average).


Numerous business opportunities are therefore available, including the fact that the ‘Bel Paese’ hosts numerous research and development centres of excellence. There are currently 11 Italian universities ranked among the 500 best in the world and, with reference to some leading faculties, four of our national universities rank among the 10 best in the world.

Italy is the fifth country in the world in terms of the ‘impact factor’ of scientific publications produced (average number of citations obtained) and twelfth in terms of investment in biomedical research. In view of this global importance, many Italian researchers manage important European R&D centres and networks, such as the CERN particle physics laboratory, and structures of high competence and transnational interest in sectors such as aerospace and earth observation.


Italy is the second largest manufacturing economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world, with a manufacturing surplus of over USD 100 billion. Notably, in the pharmaceutical sector, where both national and multinational companies operate successfully, Italy has asserted its role as Europe’s leading manufacturer, with pharmaceutical production amounting to €34 billion in 2019.

From a more sectoral point of view, Italy is the European country with the highest percentage of recycling of all waste (79.3%, double the EU average of 39.2%), as well as one of the most sustainable agriculture in Europe.

Finally, the ‘Bel Paese’ is strongly open to foreign investment: multinational companies in Italy produce more than 20% of national turnover, employ 11% of the workforce and are responsible for 26% of national goods exported.



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