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Italian export: a Report by ITA-Agency

The ITA–Agency Report ‘Italy within international economy’ and the statistical yearbook ISTAT-ITA-Agency “Foreign trade and international activities of companies across 2016” have been presented in Milan on the 12th of July. ITA-Agency Report comprises 7 chapters and it represents the main tool for information and analysis on the competitive positioning of the Italian production system in the global economy’s context. The volume contains charts and tables and it comprises a series of monographic analysis regarding the most current issues.

Which is the role of Italy in the global economy context? Despite a contraction in the world goods’ trade by 13.2% in 2015 compared to 2014, our country registered a growth of the value of exported goods (+3.8%) and imported ones (+3.3%). The trade surplus (3.2 billion more compared to 2014) today reaches 45.2 billion euro, that is the highest balance during ten years period 2006-2015. Considering the net value of energy products, the surplus reaches 78.7 billion euro. USA drove exports of Italian goods and services: our export towards USA grew by 21% in 2015 for a value accounting for nearly 36 billion euro. However, the first target market for Italian goods remains Germany (+1.8% for more than 51 billion), followed by France (+1.3% and more and 42.5 billion). Chinese market ranks 9th, the Japanese one ranks 12th.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of companies with goods’ sales to foreign markets has grown: more than 214thousands firms exported their goods and services in 2015. However, within this scope, there is considerable room for improvements: small and medium enterprises fulfil almost half of Italian exports, but just one fifth of German ones and one quarter of French ones. And the average exported value remains low: around 1.8 million each company.

From the other hand, as Michele Scavannini, president of ITA–Agency highlighted, “Exports create employment: the recent increase in employment was stronger within exporting companies (especially within smaller ones) compared to those companies that work only in the domestic markets”.

As far as sectors that mostly contribute to Italian exports, the strongest have been remained, over the last three years, mechanical engineering, fashion and transport. In 2015, textile-apparel-shoes industry exported goods for more than 48 billion, with a share accounting for 5.7 of world exports.

In order to reach these results, policies aimed at supporting internationalisation promoted by ITA-Agency played their role: in 2015 investments shifted from 65 to 110 million. And for the next future the Ministry for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, has announced new programs tailored to small and micro-enterprises.


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