The Italian economy has changed completely since the end of World War II. From an agriculturally based economy, it has developed into an industrial state ranked as the world?s sixth-largest industrial economy.
Italy has an open economy, and is a member of major multilateral economic organizations such as the Group of Seven industrialized nations (G-7), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.
Italy has a private sector characterized primarily by a large number of small and medium-sized firms and a few multinational companies with well-known names such as Fiat and Pirelli.
The most dynamic industries and markets tend to be concentrated in northern Italy, resulting in an income divergence between north and south that remains one of Italy?s most difficult and enduring economic and social problems.
In the past, the government traditionally played a dominant role in the economy through ownership of large industrial and financial companies. Privatization and regulatory reform since 1994 have reduced that presence somewhat.
Italy has few natural resources. There are no substantial deposits of iron, coal or oil. Natural gas reserves are located mainly in the Po Valley and offshore Adriatic. 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 firms.
Its major industries are precision machinery, industrial machinery and equipment, primary & fabricated metals, transportation equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals,tourism and hospitality, furniture, homewares, electric and electronic equipment, textiles, designer fashion, clothing, leather goods, shoes and jewellry.
There are also many small artisan cottage industry groups linked to tourism that provide a firm base for employment of many craftsmen in Italy.
Trade Fairs in Italy
Commerce& Industry in Each Region