Of the many relationships that involve the different States of the European Union, the one between Italy and Germany has long been a very special and privileged one. Germany is Italy’s first commercial partner and, on the other hand, individual Italian regions account for a larger portion of German exchanges than entire nations. Germany, for instance, trades more with Veneto and Lombardy than with the whole of Japan. On the whole the exchanges between Italy and Germany amount to over 60 billion Euros per year. So far, the strengthening of this relationship has proved beneficial for both Countries and has resulted in several public and private and public partnerships and deals involving enterprises and institutions.
Italy and Germany: a special relationship in the heart of Europe
Italian goods on the German market
Italy’s main exports to Germany come from the automotive, fashion, pharmaceutical and food industry. Germany also exports vehicles and heavy machinery to Italy, as well as electronics, domestic appliances and optical components. Made-in-Italy goods and brands have an excellent reputation in Germany and they are associated with concepts of quality, reliability and style. The steady increase in the volume of commercial exchanges between the two Countries, coming as it did after a period of economic crisis for Italy, was instrumental in halving the Country’s deficit in under 7 years (2009 to 2016)
A balanced relationship
Italy and Germany’s relationship has strengthened over the years, becoming more balanced, levelling out what was initially perceived as a disparity of leverage between the two Countries. Over the past two years, the volume of imports and exports has been evenly balanced and equally profitable for all parties involved. The data acquired by Italian agency ISTAT also highlight how certain common misconceptions about the Countries’ respective exports might be inaccurate. Contrary to popular believe, for instance, Italy imports as much food products to Germany as it imports from it. Italy is not exclusively valued by partner States for its tasty food and stylish fashion: our skills and expertise in sectors such as the chemical and pharmaceutical one are also highly appreciated, as well as our work on technology and innovation.
A healthy system
Italy and Germany both benefit from the current situation: a private enterprise from either Country willing to expand its business in the other will not only enjoy a privileged status due to the state of the Union, but also gain several advantages that depend on the unique characteristic of the other Country. Italian entrepreneurs doing business in or with Germany, will have access to a large and broadly reliable market located in the heart of Europe. A German enterprise establishing commercial relationships with Italy will set up an outpost in the Mediterranean area and will be able to take advantage of policies that favour foreign investments.
Where to invest next
While some industrial sectors are established successes, other are growing offer interesting opportunities for able entrepreneurs. The most promising fields in which to invest, according to experts on both sides of the alp, are those connected to renewable energy, electronics, electro-medical equipment, hospitality and construction. These projections, of course, fluctuate more or less constantly: entrepreneurs and public institutions from both Countries keep pace with them by taking part in trade shows and corporate events organised by their respective chambers of commerce. The current trend, which seems destined to last, is one of cooperation and mutual respect, in which any former imbalance of influence has been evened out, with both Countries simultaneously pursuing their interests and embracing the other’s needs, in a perspective of continued growth on both sides.