Serve. Forehand. Backhand. Volley. Smash. Ace. The ‘Made in Italy’ industry is like tennis: in the end, there is always one winner who lifts the cup.
It’s played everywhere: Foro Italico, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Flushing Meadows, Melbourne Park. Grass, hard, clay. Each surface is a technical and psychological challenge. The domain is huge, but the brilliance of the economic (and creative) moment can be seen here: Clothing. Food. Furniture. Automotive. “Game, set, match,” the sorely missed GIanni Clerici would have decreed in his commentary, golden racket and sharpened quill.
Where have we got to in the Grand Slam of ‘Made in Italy’? Let's start with a fact: Italianness is a winning feature, sought after and admired by all. Overall, the exports in these key sectors of the ‘Made in Italy’ industry are worth over €288 billion, almost 60% of the total of all Italian exports
Only the pandemic emergency with such sudden impact and global reach has slowed these constantly growing flows. The decrease recorded in 2020, the result of the collapse in world consumption and an initial slowdown in the flow of international goods, was completely reabsorbed the following year, returning to growth, reaching values higher than the year prior to the pandemic.
Even looking at the volume of goods exported in the ‘Made in Italy’ sectors, there is a clear recovery in 2021, with volumes that exceeded 50 million tons
There are two phenomena worth noting and absolutely against the trend that occurred in this very unusual period: the first is the increase in the volume of food products exported precisely in the year of the pandemic, which reached 21 million tons. The following year, exports exceeded 21.3 million tons. The growing demand for Italian food and wine even during the pandemic was the driver of the ‘Made in Italy’ industry, at least partially offsetting the decline recorded in the automation and mechanical engineering sector; the second phenomenon, closely linked to the trend in food production, is the increase in the share of the ‘Made in Italy’ sectors in relation to the total exports of Italian manufacturing, which exceeded 38.4% in 2020, and then settled at around 38% in 2021.
The trade balance of the ‘Made in Italy’ industry was also clearly positive in terms of value, but remained positive also in terms of volumes. On the other hand, the rest of the manufacturing sectors are in sharp contrast to the trend, with a negative export-import ratio.
Overall, the identity products of the ‘Made in Italy’ industry have withstood the impact of the pandemic and have maintained (and in some cases increased) their share of total Italian exports.
‘Made in Italy’ excellence successfully gain significant market shares in Europe, but also in the rest of the world. The pinnacle of excellence is achieved by the Italian terracotta construction materials which cover over 24% of all world exports of the product. One in four ceramics exported worldwide is created in our hyper-specialized districts in Sassuolo and Scandiano, Imola and Faenza, Impruneta and Vietri sul Mare, just to name the main ones. The share rises to almost one in two for exports to the Euro Area alone.
In addition to home furnishings, leather products (which include shoes and haute couture accessories) and beverages also account for about 10% of all world exports in their respective sectors.
In general, almost all products bearing the ‘Made in Italy’ label continue, even during the year of the pandemic, to maintain a share of more than 10% of the total exports in the Euro Area with beverages, all clothing and home furnishings products that exceed even 20%.
However, it is precisely since the pandemic that further spaces and opportunities are being consolidated for companies that intend to reach new markets. The data on the regional dynamics of exports over the last three years identifies the sectors that in these territories have recorded a significant increase in exports.
Almost all products bearing the ‘Made in Italy’ label continue, even during the year of the pandemic, to maintain a share of more than 10% of the total exports in the Euro Area
Compared to 2019, pharmaceutical and chemical products recorded a consistent increase in exports in many Italian regions. Companies in Molise and in Calabria have seen exports increase by more than 8 and 6 times respectively.
In many of the Italian regions, exports of metal products, means of transport and chemicals also increased significantly, in particular in Liguria, Lazio, Sardinia and Friuli Venezia-Giulia.
Together with the traditional products ‘Made in Italy’, these areas of specialization are also becoming increasingly important. They are all products, in any case, united by characteristics found in the best and most viable part of our entire production system: know-how, innovation and ingenuity
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