In recent news Italy has been on the spotlight for its debt restructuring challenge. If we look beyond the urgent and immediate issues, Italy faces more a problem of liquidity than one of solvency. In simpler terms, this means that Italy has a primary surplus and a strong working economy, dependent in large part on the small to medium firms (SMEs), especially in the high-end manufacturing sectors, as an example.
It is precisely the strong base of SMEs, which have established the “Made in Italy” premium recognized globally, that drive the Italian economy. Despite this, Italian firms and the SME sector in particular are sometimes only locally known and generally lack a visibility that other European companies have established across borders. In the efforts to solve this issue and build greater visibility to Italian firms, a few notable initiatives have taken place in the last few months:
- The Italian Business & Investment Initiative: The Italian Business & Investment Initiative (IB&II) seeks to promote Italy’s innovative small to medium size enterprise (SME) sector to the U.S. venture capital and private equity investment communities.
- Panorama Economy: IB&II collaborated with leading Italian publisher Mondadori to launch Panorama Economy’s "Why Italy Matters to the World", the first online information source on the Italian economy in English, written by Italians.
- BAIAbase: The first business database mapping Italy-US trade. A useful data bank for company executives and entrepreneurs interested in searching for strategic business partners and equally relevant for business professionals and managers interested in finding new job opportunities in Italy or the US.
Along with the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and others, BAIA is a partner of the Italian Business & Investment Initiative. Just a couple of weeks ago, a BAIA Partner Event: Italian Business & Investment Initiative Fall Symposium, organized by IB&II, was held at Bloomberg in New York, which included high profile speakers and a roster of selected Italian privately-held SMEs.
Panorama Economy: The First Italian Business Periodical Fully Published in English
Fully published in English! It is now possible for the English-speaking audience to read about the Italian economy, case studies and opinions from one of Italy’s most influential weekly business magazine. Equally important, the Italian community has a great resource available in English. I recommend checking it out at http://www.panoramaeconomy.com/.
Also, I recommend reading the Panorama Economy article Let me show you the America that counts in which Fernando Napolitano, Founder, CEO and President of IB&II, describes how he has developed the initiative.