London, 29 March 2017
(The authentic text is only the one actually delivered)
(WHAT IS THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT DOING TO IMPROVE THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE ITALIAN ECONOMY?)
First of all, it’s wonderful to be here at Bloomberg and to speak about the great investment opportunities in Italy’s economic capital: the city of Milan.
To put everything into perspective, allow me to stress just a few key statistics. Italy is:
- the third (3rd) largest economy of the Eurozone;
- the eighth (8th) largest economy in the world;
- the second (2nd) most competitive producer of industrial machinery;
- and one of just five countries with a commercial surplus over 100 billion dollars in the manufacturing sector.
We have a very attractive market of 60 million consumers and a very solid middle class. That’s the strength of our economy.
To be fair and not to sound complacent, global investors have been so obsessed with the “risk” of the Eurozone. But as a politician who strongly believes in the European Union, let me reassure you that Italy will never leave the Euro.
This is not to say that threats do not remain, but they are mainly linked to political challenges, rather than economic fundamentals. Among these: immigration and terrorism, that the Italian system has handled well so far by combining solidarity and security.
The recent elections in the Netherlands and Saarland are encouraging. Mainstream parties have good chances of winning at the polls also in Germany, France and Italy. I am confident that the pro-European centre can prevail. And this will surely boost confidence across Europe and spur relief rallies across markets.
As you know, just last week, we celebrated the Sixtieth anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. We can look with new confidence, after Brexit, to the European project.
And in Italy confidence is the decisive ingredient for growth: an essential push for overcoming those obstacles that constrain credit to companies and families.
Our Government has a strong pro-Euro and pro-business attitude. And I have also tasked our diplomacy to put trade, investments, and prosperity at the centre of its mission.
Attracting Foreign Direct Investments is part of our reform Agenda. We are committed to creating a smart and friendly environment for foreign investors.
Our effort involves: simplifying bureaucracy and “red tape”, speeding up justice, flexible labour legislation, clear and simple taxation rules, and specialized business courts.
When making their choices, investors should also consider quality of life: Italy is ranked the healthiest country on earth by the Bloomberg Global Health Index! Living and investing in Italy is good for your health!
(WHY SHOULD A FOREIGN COMPANY INVEST IN MILAN?)
Today, we are showcasing Milan. Why Milan?
Because it’s the home of a huge business community and a competitive world-class lifestyle.
There are around eight-hundred-thousand (800,000) companies in the greater Lombardy Region. The Region consistently attracts the biggest share of foreign direct investments in Italy. And the Region’s GDP is higher than that of seventeen (17) other EU countries.
Milan is already the headquarter of three-thousand (3,000) multinational companies with two-hundred-ninety-eight-thousand (298.000) employees. That’s also why English is widely spoken wherever you go!
The economy of Milan is built on diversity and its “trademark” sectors are: financial and banking services, engineering, communication, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, energy, applied research, and, of course, design and fashion.
The Lombardy Region hosts 60% of Italy’s pharmaceutical industry. So it’s no surprise that Milan is competing to be the new headquarter of the European Medicines Agency.
The Italian Government is also welcoming with open arms the investment of the Westfield Group in the area of Milan. It’s going to be one of the largest shopping malls in Europe.
But it’s not just about business. In Milan you also get excellent services:
-The Municipality and the Justice System offer efficient services.
- For the same rent as in London you can enjoy a much bigger office! And also high-quality housing.
- In Milan you have a great public transport system. And the tube is always on time, but tickets are cheaper than in London!
- In Milan there is a network of international schools, eleven (11) universities and five (5) art academies, with more than 200,000 new students yearly.
And if you are on the move: Milan has not one, but three airports. And a high-speed rail system that can take you all over Italy and Europe, sometimes faster than a plane!
As many of you know, Milan is also synonymous with fashion, culture, and fantastic food, which you can explore endlessly!
And wherever you find yourself in Milan, you can always feel safe. Just consider that Milan hosted twenty-two (22) million visitors during the 2015 Expo without any significant security incidents. That’s quite a record!
Italian diplomacy is working to support Milan and to achieve this vision of opportunity and prosperity.
Business should know that it will always find the doors of our Embassies wide-open for new investments and new opportunities.
I am confident that Milan will be the springboard for the re-launch of the Italian economy. With this positive attitude, I’m looking forward to attracting and welcoming new investors.