Italy is well-known globally for its fashion industry, and its wine and cheese, second only to France. There are, however, other industries especially in the light manufacturing sector that contribute much more to the economy of Italy.
Industrial activity in this country has been aided largely by the liberal investment and business policies favored by the government. Italian light manufacturing consists mostly of the automotive, chemical and white goods industries. Together, the products manufactured by these industries constitute a major portion of the exports of Italy. Apart from a handful of large industries, the size of most of the manufacturing industries is small to medium. These industries mostly produce niche products and luxury goods that have a dedicated market among other European countries such as Germany, France, Spain as well as the United States and Japan.
Automotive Industry: The very mention of Italian automobiles calls to mind the names Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Fiat and Lancia. The fact that this is by no means an exhaustive list is testimony to the diversity in the range of automobiles produced by Italian manufacturers. There are Italian cars for every kind of budget manufactured by these companies. In addition to automobiles, there are also industries that manufacture machine parts or precision machinery, most of which are either consumed by local industries or exported.
Textiles and Clothing Industry: Italy has some of the world’s best known clothing and textile brands. In addition to catering for the luxury segment, the success of this Italian industry lies in the production of casual and designer wear at affordable prices and of high quality. The retail distribution network of such products is very strongly developed.
Food Processing: With famous names such as Parmalat, Nestlé and Barilla, the Italian food processing industry contributes a significant amount to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition to the larger food processing units run by these companies, there are also numerous small and family-run food processing units that produce cheese, sausages, chocolate, pasta and ham. The global popularity of Italian food has driven the growth in this sector for the last few years.
This is not a comprehensive listing of the goods manufactured in Italy – there is much more to industrial activity in Italy. Aviation, cheese, perfumes, wine, jewelry, olive oil – these are the many products manufactured in Italy that are exported largely to the European market. Whatever be the industry, the quality of the products and the superior design have made the ‘Made In Italy’ brand a byword among buyers of the products.