Giant from the heart of Europe: Masters of design and machines

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Text: Žikica Milošević

Italy always knew how to pack the product into the most beautiful packaging, and to make it the object of the desire of the whole world, be it shirts, cheeses or cars. Everything is always visually appealing. But behind that perfect look, the reliability and the quality there are machines that will not let you down, the food of unrivaled taste, and the best-quality clothes.

There is an unusual mixture that is Italy that we cannot possibly ascribe to superficiality, although many think that the Italians’ northern origin gives them responsibility. Of course Italy has responsibility, more than others.

Italian flag in map

NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Italy’s economy is the eighth largest in the world, with an absolute amount of gross domestic product (nominally) of $ 1,850,735,000,000 (Yes, almost two trillion!). At the regional level, the Italian economy is the third largest economy in the eurozone, behind Germany’s and France’s. In relative terms or purchasing power parity (PPA), the Italian living standard is also among the highest in the world. The secondary or industrial sector is the driving force behind Italian development and the current axis of its economy, unlike the service sector in other country, thus making the Italian economy more robust than others in Europe and the world. Although, Italy did have difficult time overcoming economic difficulties post-global financial crisis in 2008, it still managed to. If it didn’t have such a strong secondary economy and production branch, just like Poland and Germany, the consequences would have been much harder. As with the economies of many European countries, the tertiary sector or the service sector also plays an important role in the Italian economy. The country is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the G-7 Group and the G-8 Group, not without reason.

In the post-war period, Italy was transformed from an agriculture-based economy, which was seriously affected by the consequences of world wars, to one of the most developed countries in the world and the world’s leader in the design industry, international trade and world exports. According to the Human Development Index, the country has a high standard of living and it ranks eight in the world regarding the quality of life according to The Economist. Italy is the third country in the world in terms of gold reserves and the third largest country by net contribution to the EU budget. The country is also known for its influential and innovative business sector, which makes it a highly industrialized nation (Italy is the second country in Europe after Germany in terms of goods production) and has a traditionally competitive agricultural sector (the country is the largest wine producer in the world).

As we have mentioned earlier, the country is known for its creative projects marked by high quality production in the automotive, maritime, fashion and household appliances industries. Italy is also the largest market of luxury products in Europe (third worldwide). Italians love luxury, apparently. One should not forget that they like to accumulate it too – the private wealth in the country is one of the largest in the world! Also, the country is considered the most suitable for children, it is beneficial for pensioners, and quite comfortable for workers. In the time of inhumane capitalism, some of these happiness factors are more important than ordinary growth figures. Italy, despite the aging of the population and low birthrate, has a soft approach to immigrants, especially from Eastern Europe and North Africa, and does not have to worry much about the attractiveness of its economy to foreigners.

TOTHER SIDE OF PROGRESS

Still, Italy needs investments and growing economy. The Italian economy will not return to the level it was before the 2008 financial crisis until the middle of the next decade, the analysis conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown, citing “two lost decades”. On the other hand, by 2025, the economies of other eurozone members will have recorded between 20 and 25 percent growth relative to 2008. The IMF is now expecting that the Italian economy, the third largest in the eurozone area, will grow by less than 1 percent this year, which is very close to zero, which, in turn, burdens investment prospects. But this only means that Italy is hungry for investments, so generating profit in other markets, including Serbian, is an imperative for a new impulse to the Italian economy, which, despite the difficulties, is seen as very robust and it doesn’t take down other economies with it during bad times, like the American.

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