Investment Opportunities in Italy
Protection of Foreign Investment
- Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Italy
Italy has signed bilateral agreements with fifty or so countries.
To see the list of countries, click here.
To see the conventions, click here.
- Organizations Offering Their Assistance in Case of Disagreement
ICCWBO , International court of arbitration, International chamber of commerce
ICSID , International Center for settlement of Investment Disputes
- Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
- Italy is a signatory to the MIGA Convention.
Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors
|Index of Transaction Transparency*||7.0||6.0||7.0||5.0|
|Index of Manager’s Responsibility**||4.0||5.2||9.0||5.0|
|Index of Shareholders’ Power***||6.0||6.8||9.0||5.0|
|Index of Investor Protection****||5.7||6.0||8.3||5.0|
Source: Doing Business
Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.
Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment
- Freedom of Establishment
- As a member of the European Union, Italy applies the principle of freedom of establishment and non-discrimination. Thus, foreign investors can carry out any type of activity in the same conditions as a local investor. In addition, no specific legal text governs foreign direct investment. The regime is in alignment with that applicable to local investment.
- Acquisition of Holdings
- Acquiring a majority holding in the capital of a local company is authorized in Italy, except in certain sectors (petroleum exploitation).
- Obligation to Declare
The agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country gives information about the authorizations necessary for setting up business.
- Requests For Specific Authorizations
Foreign investors are subject to particular measures (prior authorization issued by the competent ministry and restrictions concerning the permitted amount of equity acquisitions) in certain sectors only:
- telecommunications and the press;
- airline and shipping companies;
- electricity and gas (liberalized in 1999 and in 2000 by respective legal decrees n° 79/99 and n° 167/00);
- petroleum exploitation.
For further information, consult the ICE website.
Office Real Estate and Land Ownership
- The Possibility of Buying Land and Industrial and Commercial Buildings
Foreign investors can become the owners of land on which they set up their business. However, acquiring real estate must be carried out through companies set up specifically for this.
For further information, consult the agencies specialized in the real estate sector (for example Pirelli RE or Gabetti).
- Risk of Expropriation
- The Italian constitution allows private property to be expropriated for public purposes and compensation is provided.
- Forms of Aid
The various regional aids granted to companies concern the regions of the Mezzogiorno (south of Rome, in Sardinia and Sicily). Eligible projects must enable existing companies to be modernized and developed, new technologies to be integrated and/or local resources to be exploited. In addition, companies created in this area in order to develop a new industrial activity (outside sectors of activity in decline), may be exempted from corporate tax (composed of two taxes) for 10 years. Profits made in Italy and re-invested in the Mezzogiorno are exempted from part of the corporate tax. Finally, aid for research and development can be granted by the Ministry of Industry, the Institute of Industrial production and the Ministry of Universities and Scientific and Technological Research.
The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade lists and makes available a guide to aids for setting up business in Italy.
- Privileged Domains
Aid for research and development can be granted by the Ministry of Industry, the Institute of Industrial production and the Ministry of Universities and Scientific and Technological Research.
A new initiative of the Italian government will make it possible to attract new investment to Tuscany in many sectors linked to information and communication technologies (ICT).
- Privileged Geographical Zones
The State favors investment in certain regions. There are aids for the creation of companies in the less developed regions (principally in the regions of southern Italy). For example, the Abruzzo region can benefit from State aid in accordance with the dispensation provided for in art. 92.3 c of the Treaty of Rome.
Various regional aids are granted to companies who have set up business in the Mezzogiorno (southern Italy, beginning south of Rome, in Sardinia and Sicily). Their projects must enable existing companies to be modernized and developed, new technologies to be integrated and local resources to be exploited. In addition, companies created in this area in order to develop a new industrial activity (outside sectors of activity in decline), may be exempted from corporate tax (composed of two taxes) for 10 years. Profits made in Italy and re-invested in the Mezzogiorno are exempted from part of the corporate tax.
- Free Zones
- Trieste and Venice
- Organizations Which Finance
- Ministry of Economic Development.
- The Key Sectors of the National Economy
Italy has a very large presence in the aerospace sector (it is a leading producer of helicopters, a partner in the project for the construction of the international space station, etc.).
In the automobile sector, Italy distinguishes itself in design, technology and skills, with avant-garde research centers. The automobile market is in constant expansion, and is more and more appreciated by foreign manufacturers.
The Italian chemical industry is one of the country's most dynamic sectors (with a strong propensity for innovation, highly qualified human resources and large multinationals who have chosen the peninsula to set up their business). Italy is the third-largest European producer in the chemical sector and an prominent actor on the world stage. In a country where volumes of production and consumption of agri-food products and beverages are the largest in Europe, tradition and innovation create new opportunities to conquer new foreign markets. The country is characterized by a tradition of typical products, culinary dishes and wines well-known all over the world, and very high-level standards of quality and safety.
Italy has many investment opportunities in new technologies: nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, high tech products, etc. Italy also enjoys a favorable and stimulating environment to develop Life Science projects (competitive costs, simple standards, search for excellence). Italy is also a logistical platform for international trade, with new investments and the best transport and telecommunications infrastructures around the Mediterranean. Finally, Italy is the fourth most-popular tourist destination in the world, an industry worth around 70 billion euros a year.
- High Potential Sectors
- Privatization Programs
- Airline companies, railways.
- Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer
- Monopolistic Sectors
- Defense, tobacco, energy networks.
- Sectors in Decline
- Metallurgy, textiles.
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