Market Watch – Italy

Overview

  • Italy was severely impacted by Covid-19 and had no protocol to follow as it was the first to experience a total lockdown.

  • It has started to recover and has begun to open up its borders

  • Construction sites are open and medical device companies are in production mode.

  • Opportunities are also available in the health, ICT agriculture and energy sectors.

    Europe and the rest of the world watched in horror as Italy succumbed to the ravages of Covid-19 and tried to figure out a way to keep its citizens safe and its economy from collapse.

    And while the effects of the pandemic definitely left its mark on the country, it has started to open up and the recovery plan has been put into action.

    Country manager, Ciara O’Toole says it was a very difficult period for Italy, but the situation now seems to be under control and while there are still some challenges ahead, plans are underway to open up the country in stages.

    “Italy was the original global epicentre of the pandemic and it quickly became a country of unwelcome firsts,” she says. “As Italians saw the healthcare emergency escalate, they also had to process the shock of being the first country in the world to be put on a full lockdown.

    “There was no frame of reference to follow so Italy quickly became the global frame of reference. However, after a couple of months of hardship, it is now preparing to open its borders to the rest of Europe and from June 3rd, entry into Europe from the countries of the European Union, including countries in the Schengen region and Switzerland, will be permissible without a two week quarantine.

    “And the plan is to open borders fully to global travel from 15th of June with flight and medical protocols in place.”

    O’Toole, who is responsible for leading the Milan based Enterprise Ireland team to support sales activities for Irish companies in Italy, says although the country is still working within in some restrictions, it is beginning to open up and there are opportunities to be had.

    “Remote working will remain in place in the country for the foreseeable future across sectors which have this possibility,” she says. “But with respect to logistics, the supply chain to Italy was not severely interrupted.”

    “Construction sites have been open since early May and medical device companies are back to work. Tourism is also starting to open up, including in the hard hit north and airlines are returning to flight with medical protocols being adapted by EU airlines.”

    “Also the ecommerce sector is extremely active and there are many exciting opportunities on the horizon in various sectors including construction, health, ICT agriculture and energy.”

    Like the rest of the world, remote working is still on the agenda for the foreseeable future, but O’Toole says there is plenty of business happening in Italy and things will continue to improve in the coming weeks and months.

    “Virtual client meetings are the modus operandi at the moment which will ensure progression of business,” she says. “But we have had many positive news stories in recent weeks from client companies.”

    “Italy is a world leader in the construction of major infrastructures, and it is home to leading aerospace technologies as well as being a leading producer in many significant global sectors.”

    “So, although the country has endured a lot of trauma in the last few months, it is a resilient nation with an indomitable spirit and while commerce has undoubtedly been interrupted, there is a real determination to get back to business.”

    Get key insights on doing business in Italy and the supports available from Enterprise Ireland.

    • Share this article