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Get to Know Italy

International trade success is not only about you and your customers. Learn business facts about the countries that you trade with and familiarize yourself with the different business practices, cultures, customs and economics.

At a Glance

Italy covers 116,303 square miles (301,225 square kilometers). Its population of 60.6 million (2011 estimate) includes a workforce of 25.01 million (2010 estimate) occupied primarily in the services industry (67%), followed by industry and commerce (29%) and agriculture (4%).



Financial Facts:
  • Estimated GDP (2010) of US$1.774 trillion or US$30,500 per capita
  • GDP grew 1.3% from 2009-2010
  • Services account for 73.3% of GDP
  • Industry generates 24.9% of GDP. Italy's economic strength is goods manufacture and processing, primarily in small and medium-sized family-owned firms. Its major industries are precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electric goods, and fashion and clothing.
  • Agriculture generates 1.8% of GDP

Italy is well known for its large number of small family-run businesses. That makes Italy a market well attuned to the needs and business realities of small and medium enterprises. The organization reports that more than 90% of industrial companies employ fewer than 100 people, and nearly 90% of companies have fewer than 20 employees. This section is designed to help your company identify and assess its international trade opportunities in Italy.

Perhaps you’re interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country’s exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Italian companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Italy. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided here will lead you to information that can support your entry into the Italian market.

Italy has few natural resources and there are no substantial deposits of iron, coal, or oil. Most raw materials needed for manufacturing and more than 80% of the country’s energy sources are imported. Italy’s economic strength is in the processing and the manufacturing of goods, primarily in small and medium-sized family-owned firms.