Exporting guide to Italy
Focus on innovation
Italy’s industrial strategy creates opportunities in innovative industries like cyber security, digital transformation and life sciences. In 2019 the government will launch a national artificial intelligence strategy to promote investment.
UK businesses are very important to Italy, and investors are committed to their UK projects. There is an appreciation for British professional services, technology and quality consumer goods.
Growing trade exchange
Total trade between the UK and Italy reached £44.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 3.4% from the previous year. The northern region of Lombardy is particularly important to the Italian economy, and trade between the UK and Lombardy has been growing in recent years.
Italy: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Italy is one of our largest export markets. There is high demand for skills in technology and engineering. Some important sectors include defence, aerospace, advanced engineering and life sciences technology.
Demand for specialist skills
Research and innovation are very important in Italian industry. With high levels of research and development spending, there is strong demand for new digital skills and business models.
Cyber security market
Italy’s cyber security market is growing and a high priority for the country. It is a key part of the country's digital transformation strategy.
Health and life sciences
There is a market for medical devices and e-health applications as part of Italy’s drive to create a more modern health service.
Prevention and ageing
Innovative aids for older and disabled people are a growing priority. Prevention is becoming a bigger focus, and products and services in this area are in demand.
A national plan to make public services more digital is driving innovation. There is demand for technologies to improve services, limit inefficiency and reduce regional differences.
Aerospace and engineering
History and innovation
Italy hosts both large, established aerospace companies with strong supply chains, and innovative smaller businesses. The country has played an important part in aircraft development projects, including Airbus and Dreamliner.
Support for exporters
The UK government's aerospace team in Italy has strong relationships with many Italian and British trade associations. They attend major air shows, including Farnborough, to help UK companies source opportunities in research and development and in business.