Italy is home to luxury and culture, but it turns investors off


Italy? A country that exports luxury, gastronomy and culture, but is not a suitable place to invest and do business. That’s what the research says “Nation Branding: Influence of a Country’s Image on the Economy”, under the direction of Rome Business School.

According to the study despite Italy ranks 4th in the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Indexexcessive bureaucracy and difficulties in setting up a business discourage investors.

The most important indicators, such asWorld Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, show that Italy is not among the easiest countries to start and develop a business. In the indicator “Open a business”, Italy ranks 98th and 119th for access to credit. However, Italy comes first when it comes to easy handling of customs aspects. In the’Heritage Foundation Index of Economic FreedomItaly ranks 33rd out of 45 European countries analyzed.

Instead, let’s turn to the assessment of the national brand, Brand Finance Nation Brands places Italy at number 9 (2021). In 2022, the value of the Italian brand is estimated at around 1,819 billion euros (+8.6% compared to 2021, above the 2019 level)

Italy continues to attract tourists

Italy plays an important role in culture, artistic heritage and gastronomy, but in order to become an attractive place for investment and entrepreneurial activities, bureaucratic difficulties need to be overcome and access to credit improved. The new Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy could represent a step in this direction.

Despite this negative data Italy is still one of the most attractive tourist nations in the world. Its history, culture and artistic heritage attracts millions of visitors every year and ranks 6th in the “Tourism” ranking.Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index.

The recently created Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy aims to strengthen Italy’s reputation as a leading nation in terms of quality and lifestyle through increased promotion of exports of products and services, as well as strengthening industrial areas and innovative sectors.

The power of Italian brands: luxury and food at the top

The most important Italian brands are perceived as Guarantee of quality, authenticity and style (Kantar, 2022), but they are not among the most reputable in the world. The Brand Finance report, which aims to rank the world’s most valuable brands, shows that the most valuable brands in 2022 are Apple, Amazon And Google. The first Italian brand is Gucciat position number 108, then there is Is in that (144) Ed Eni (193). Taking all the brands monitored by Brand Finance together, Italy is not even in the top nine countries in the world.

Despite the climate of economic and political uncertainty, the main Italian brands continue to grow. The 30 most valuable Italian brands in 2022, according to Kantar’s analysis a combined value of approximately $128.7 billion.

The top 30 best Italian brands according to Kantar bring together a variety of industries: fashion, food & beverage, telecom, automotive and energy. The best positioned companies are Gucci, Enel and Kinder. The best performing category is Luxury, with 7 brands accounting for 42% of the total.

Reboot Italy

The search for Rome Business School underlines the importance of a well-designed nation-branding strategy for Italy’s economic growth. For the future it will be necessary to strengthen the country’s image, not only as a tourist location, but also as a location for investment, business and growth. Aldo Pigolione of the authors of the study says:

“For a long time there has been a lack of an organic, coordinated and unified strategy Italy should be better perceived in the international context. In the last ten years, starting from its institutions, the Italian country system has become aware of the importance of defining, strengthening and protecting the national brand on the international stage. This strategy must be continued and accompanied by a market intelligence activity, useful to monitor the progress made through nation branding for Italy in foreign markets.”

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