Multinationals in Italy, increase in number and turnover


The number of foreign-controlled companies in Italy increased in 2017: 378 of which almost 300 in services. This was announced by Istat. Expertise and specialization of the workforce are among the first factors of attraction and persistence in Italy. In the two-year period 2019-2020, among foreign subsidiaries in Italy, 31.5% plan an increase in activity levels, 61.3% maintaining the economic dimension, 7.1% a downsizing.

In the same period, among the Italian multinationals of the industry and services, 45.6% and 45.3% have realized or planned control investments abroad. In Italy there are 14,994 foreign-controlled companies, which employ almost 1.4 million employees (+ 4% compared to 2016), invoice (net of financial and insurance activities) over 572 billion euro (+ 6.1% ), achieve an added value of almost 119 billion euros (+ 5%) and almost 17 billion in gross fixed investments. They also contribute to over 3.3 billion in research and development spending.

The multinationals foreign companies contribute to the main national economic aggregates of industry and services with 8.0% of employees (+0.1 percentage points compared to 2016), 18.5% of turnover (+0.2 points) on 15 , 3% of added value (+0.2 points) and 17.5% of investments (+3.1 points). Of particular relevance is the contribution of foreign capital to the exchange of goods with foreign countries, with shares of 28% for exports (+1.0 points) and 47.7% for imports (+1.2 points ). In 2017 the growth of foreign multinationals in Italy is recorded above all in services (+7.3 points of turnover and +6.3 points of added value), particularly in the commerce (+8.7 points of turnover) and rental sectors, travel agencies and business support services (+9.7 points). The expansion of Italian multinationals abroad driven above all by the growth of the economic activities of the companies already present in 2016. The Italian subsidiaries abroad are 23.727 (+ 3.6%), employing almost 1.8 million workers (+4 , 4%) and invoices over 538 billion (+ 5.7%). The foreign affiliates operating in the industry (8,987 units), albeit in a smaller number than the 13,571 affiliates active in non-financial services, confirm a greater economic importance: they employ over a million employees (61.8% of the total) and almost make 308 billion in turnover (67.0% of the total), of which over 87 billion net of purchases of goods and services (66.5% of the total).

In 2017, Istat reports positive performance in manufacturing, mainly due to the economic growth of existing units in the food, beverage and tobacco industries (+ 17.5% in terms of employees, + 10.6% in turnover and +17, 1% of turnover net of purchases of goods and services), in the manufacture of rubber and plastic products (+ 13.7% of employees, + 16.7% of turnover and + 4.3% of turnover net of purchases of goods and services) and in the manufacture of computers and electronic and optical products; electromedical devices, measuring devices and watches (+ 19% of employees, + 21.9% of turnover and + 9.6% of turnover net of purchases of goods and services). The average size of companies belonging to multinational groups is high both for the foreign subsidiaries in Italy (91.1 employees) and for the Italian subsidiaries abroad (75.6 employees), especially if compared with that of companies resident in Italy (3 , 8 employees), an aspect that emerges both for the industry and for services.

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