The Italian economy is based on industry, agriculture, luxury goods and tourism. National capital is one of the biggest in the world, with HDI, which compares the quality of life between countries, still remaining high.

Despite having faced several years of recession, Italy is one of the largest economies in the European Union. The country is an important element of the European economic puzzle, being an important trading partner. This is due to the fact that the Italians make 59% of their business transactions in Europe, mainly with Germany, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, and also Poland.

Poland – Italy

Italy is the third largest trading partner of Poland in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, with a trade value exceeding EUR 18 billion. This situation has remained unchanged for several years. We import to Poland machinery and equipment, means of transport, metals and metallurgical products as well as chemical products, and export means of transport, food products, beverages and tobacco, metals and metallurgical products as well as electrical equipment. Polish companies also successfully establish partnerships in Italy. In the public transport sector, such companies are e.g. Solaris Bus & Coach SA and PESA Bydgoszcz SA,
whose buses and trains you can also ride in the peninsula. With the aging Italian society, of great interest for Poles is the telemedicine industry, in which Comarch, a company providing systems for health monitoring, operates. Moreover, excellent conditions and Italian tradition relating to the sea make the nautical sector very promising. Some of famous Polish companies in this sector include Balt-Yacht, Delphia Yachts, Galeon or Sunreef Yachts. On the other hand, the hotel sector is a reliable partner for the window and door joinery industry, in which, for example, Oknoplast or Budvar already operate.

Promotion needed

The cooperation between Polish and Italian companies regarding import and export is regulated by the provisions corresponding to EU regulations. The experts from “Export Promotion Portal” consider weak recognition of Polish companies, especially when it comes to unfamiliarity with Polish brands and export offer, a barrier.
This low awareness results from the ignorance of the Polish market, a fact that can be changed with appropriate promotion. Poles are very often chosen as subcontractors, which may be the first step on the way to increase export. Of great help may be market analyses regarding specific industries provided by Export Promotion Portal.

Investment possibilities

One of the ways of ending the crisis is attracting foreign investment. In order to achieve this, EUR 43 billion was allocated from the budget for investment and structural measures, and until last year, a sum of EUR 270 million was earmarked for the growth of exports and attracting foreign investments. One of the bodies responsible for this is Invitalia,
the national agency for attracting investments and enterprise development. Invitalia offers assistance in establishing companies and start-ups in Italy, focusing on such areas as assistance in planning business activities and settlement of official errands, as well as obtaining funding and consulting.

Events and fairs for business

Participation in fairs and business events is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the offer of Italian companies as well as present your own, find out what it is worth focusing on in business relations and learn about trends. It is a good idea to not only take part in foreign fairs, but also participate in those organized in Poland, aimed at promoting foreign investments. An example of an event that helps Polish companies start and run a business with foreign companies is, among others, PAIH EXPO, the Support Forum for Polish Business Abroad. The first edition took place in October this year at the PGE Narodowy in Warsaw,
with over a dozen thematic stands combining exhibition and educational functions. Other Italian fairs that are worth checking out are, among others, fairs organized in Milan, Bologna and Turin. The capital of Lombardy is a mandatory fair for, among others, the furniture (Salone del Mobile – International Furniture Fair), food (Tutto Food trade fair), logistics (Transportec Logitec) or construction industries (Smart Building Expo). On the other hand, Bologna should be visited by companies from the cosmetics (COSMOPROF trade fair) or agri-food industries (EIMA). Finally, Turin is a meeting place for companies from e.g. the construction industry (Restructura).

Important partner

According to the experts, the developing areas include IT, modern technologies, energy, armament, aviation and automotive sectors, as well as the food and fashion industries. Communication is facilitated by convenient flights and highly developed transport in the country. Italy is a promising business partner for Polish companies that can count on discounts for entrepreneurs exporting Italian goods or facilitation when running business in Italy.

How to start?

As both countries belong to the European Union, Polish companies will not encounter any barriers when trading. The applicable regulations are governed by the EU, and since 2006, there have also not been any obstacles to the free movement of workers and access to the Italian labour market.
However, if you want to set up a company in Italy, you should acquaint yourself with the applicable law. Regulations and restrictions are in this case stricter than in Poland, and the company’s capital can amount to several thousand euros. However, it is worth mentioning that Polish entrepreneurs may apply for subsidies or enjoy special benefits in Italy.

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