Understanding Italy's Many-Sided Economy, And Catching Investment Opportunities

Profession:Ichino-Brugnatelli e Associati

Although Italy is often considered as a peripheral Country, its economy is still one of the most developed in the world. It employs millions of people across diverse industries: no need to list world famous Italian brands and products.

Thanks to its mild climate, natural beauty and rich history and culture, this Country is the fifth most visited Country in the world: it has become a primary tourist destination, not only for voyagers from other European Countries and North America, but increasingly from Asia, including Middle-East Countries, India, Japan, and China. While many of the tourists continue to visit historical cities and art centers like Rome, Florence and Venice, there are more and more visitors attracted by shopping opportunities in fashion and luxury sectors.

Besides, Italy boasts a high standard of living, with a higher per capita GDP than EU average: although Italy's debt-to-GDP ratio is one of the highest among European Countries, Italy's deficit as a proportion of GDP remains lower than average in Europe. Furthermore, Italy has lower private debt levels and a higher savings rate.

That being said, high fiscal burden and complex bureaucracy are still a hindrance to Italy's economic development, and may give some explanations for its economic growth being at the lowest level among industrial Countries.

The Italian industrial framework is characterized by the presence of a few very compelling niche operators that have very strong and trustworthy reputations and are competitively positioned. But there are a few big players making the domestic industrial structure more vulnerable in relation to the growing global marketplace. Furthermore, there are still huge economic and cultural differences between the north and south of Italy.

As highlighted before, a sector offering good investment opportunities in Italy is in tourism and hospitality. Both foreign visitors and the Italians themselves still choose Italy as a preferred vacation destination. The attractions and facilities that are offered through a wide and varied choice of offers have allowed the tourism sector to maintain its leadership position. Investing in tourism may include focusing on traditional facilities, and, alternatively, taking advantage from investment in real estate, which can give great satisfaction to investors as a result of the steady and often rapid increase in values. Investing in Italian properties that can be converted into "agri-tourism"...

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