Italy’s economy, the eighth largest in the world, is fully diversified, and dominated by small and medium-sized firms (SMEs), which comprise 99.9 percent of Italian businesses. Italy is an original member of the 19-nation Eurozone. Germany, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Switzerland are Italy’s most important trading partners, with China continuing to gain ground. Tourism is an important source of external revenue, as are exports of pharmaceutical products, furniture, industrial machinery and machine tools, electrical appliances, automobiles and auto parts, food, and wine, as well as textiles/fashion. Italy continues to attract less foreign direct investment than many industrialized nations. Italy does not share a bilateral investment treaty with the United States.
Italy’s relatively affluent domestic market, access to the European Common Market, proximity to emerging economies in North Africa and the Middle East, and assorted centers of excellence in scientific and information technology research, remain attractive to many investors. The government remains open to foreign investment in shares of Italian companies and continues to make information available online to prospective investors. The Italian government’s efforts to implement new investment promotion policies to position Italy as a desirable investment destination have been undermined in part by Italy’s slow economic growth and lack of consistent progress on structural reforms that could reduce lengthy and often inconsistent legal and regulatory procedures, unpredictable tax structure, and layered bureaucracy.
|TI Corruption Perceptions Index||2018||53 of 180||http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview|
|World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”||2018||51 of 190||http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings|
|Global Innovation Index||2018||31 of 126||https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator|
|U.S. FDI in partner country (M USD, stock positions)||2017||$30,708||http://www.bea.gov/international/factsheet/|
|World Bank GNI per capita||2017||$31,020||http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD|