Terms such as internationalisation, transnational and global are
often excessively used in books, the media and the Internet. They
are often capable of causing confusion to those who have not
included it at least once in the syntax of its own business
A recent report by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development
concerning the state of the Italian economy in terms of trade with
foreign countries, clearly showed the economic downturn affected
all productive sectors and also had an impact on consumer
confidence dropping by 10.4% from the previous year. While exports
have shown a steady growth with the success of 'made in
Italy' products on the international markets, the information
that emerged regarding imports clearly showed a decline in the 2012
economic downturn that affected all productive sectors.
In comparison to Europe, it is clear that there has also been a
sharp increase in data compared to 2011 related to trade with new
European countries, with a variation of 11.5% in exports and 9.6%
This data reflects the same phenomenon of opening towards the
markets outside Europe with a constant and growing trend. The
leading country in this trend is Germany which over the analysed
period exported goods and services for a value of 992.3 billion
Euros, while Italy has still recorded a growth with 325.6 billion
Euros. Spain, Greece and Portugal saw a decrease in imported goods
during 2012 at the same time as Italy which saw a drop of 5.5%. The
likelihood of this is due to the decreasing purchase power and hold
off from investment. Some countries tend to export more than what
they import and a result of this allows non European countries to
buy affordable prices while we pay more for theirs and import them
With reference to goods, Italian exports have seen a significant
increase in October of 2012 of 8.6%, while the imports decreased to
3.2%. Looking at Italy compared to other industrial countries, the
data confirms the health of our 'made in Italy' products
and therefore the strength of our companies to react to the effects
of the international crisis. In 2012, the Italian exports of goods
and services amounted to 6.7%, with a higher position than France
that registers 5.3% and United Kingdom with 4.6%. Germany registers
7.8%, which owes its success to export of technology in the favor
of the emerging countries, particularly China. It is "the best
result ever reached by Italy", as stated by a report from
Coldiretti. The report on the Italian exportation of 'made in
Italy' products such as traditional food products, with a
stable percentage of exportation towards the European countries and
particularly Germany (+5%), France (+9%) and the United Kingdom
(+3%), for a total increase of 6% in the European Union.
Despite this, the emerging countries represent the real
opportunity: 10% increase in exports, with peaks prominent as for
Russia and China, where the export of wine registers percentage of
44% and 25%.
Alongside the traditional trend we find surprises such as a boom
in exports of 19% of Italian beer to the UK and 20% rise with
cheese exports to France. The growth in the exportation of these
manufactured Italian products shows more value than meets the eye;
especially given the exports go to countries notorious for the
exportation of their own beer and cheese that also are cutting back
on the imports of foreign products.
It is true that the 'made in Italy' products are not
only a cultural identity factor felt by the majority of Italians
but it is also seen as an opportunity for the economic recovery
from the crisis. An increase in exports means an increase of
production, investment, and also the flourishing of professions and
services related to it.
The employer who decides to face this project needs to decide a
solid strategy. This is more so for small to medium sized Italian
companies who intend to extend their services beyond the national
borders. Without the necessary experience in place, it can be a
great risk for the entrepreneur and their business.
A report carried out by Unicredit on a small number of companies
looking to engage in internationalisation, has shown how important
the aspect of logistics and technical and psychological support are
as they face an unknown market.
Guidance should be offered to these small and medium-sized
enterprises which could easily come from banks, trade associations
and professionals from mere participation in trade fairs abroad, to
the search of financial partners or to support the evaluation of
business opportunities and their respective counterparts. Any
decision concerning foreign markets is thus a strategic one to make
and requires careful and expert preliminary study on all the
external and internal factors.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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