Italy is an attractive destination for investments, lobbying group reminds

How can Italy regain its reputation as an attractive destination for investments in the global arena?

This is the question that Italian lobbying association ‘Why not Italy?’, founded by a number of private equity managers coordinated by Fabio Sattin (pictured), chairman at Private Equity Partners, is trying to answer, launching initiatives to promote Italy as a shopping destination for international investors.

Over the last weeks, members of the Italian private equity industry who launched the group with economics professors at Milan-based Bocconi University, presented to international investors positive figures of the Italian entrepreneurial system to demonstrate that, from a financial point of view, Italy is not a risky economy.

“Apart from the level of public debt, in Italy there are no major macroeconomic imbalances or bubbles in the housing market. Household debt is also low and the banking system is fundamentally sound,” the association said.

Italy remains an export country. The recent economic and financial turmoil has hit the Italian export companies in a similar way in which German and French exports have been affected by increased Chinese competition.

Compared to other developed countries, the higher number of SMEs and the greater product diversification allows Italy to intercept new chances on the international markets, including temporary niche opportunities.

Another strenght of Italy’s economy is the wealth of Italian families.

“At the end of 2010, the net wealth of Italian households, net of financial liabilities was more than €8bn. On average, every family has a wealth of about €360k, where the largest part is related to the ownership of the house,” the group said.

Even if the 10% of richest families hold 45% of the whole wealth, Italian people can be considered as rich as they hold significant financial assets compared to disposable incomes.

While association members are currently involved in the presentation of those data at international forums – they recently discussed how Italy can regain competitiveness in the global economy at the Harvard Business School – in the medium to long term the group will publish focused studies on industries and sectors which will stand out as excellent target for international investors.


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