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ITALY INCREASES ITS SHARE OF THE WORLD MARKET WHICH RISES TO 3.6%
Italy‚Äôs importance in the global export scenario has increased. As emerges from ICEs (the Italian Institute for foreign trade: www.italtrade.com) 2007 ‚Äď 2008 Report, in 2007 the Made in Italy share of world trade exports, measured considering current price levels, slightly increased (from 3.5% to 3.6%), thereby interrupting a downturn that has been happening for many years. This has permitted an attenuation of the trade deficit that showed a negative balance of 9.447 million Euros in 2007 compared to 20.453 million in the previous year. Net of energy products, the trade balance has shown a positive balance of 37.133 million Euros, a significant growth compared to 2006 (+28.978 million). Exports have been more dynamic than imports, with their respective growth of +8% and +4.4%.
The good results of exports is tied, according to the ICE report, to the response capability that many companies have shown in recent years to increasing competitive pressure; the fine tuning of price strategies, the improvement of the qualitative composition of sales; and the taking of different manufacturing internationalisation routes. Basically, exports have become progressively focused on parts of the metal and mechanical industry. In this sense, the recuperation of the export share has to be interpreted as a consequence of the changes in global demand, which in 2007 mainly focused on investment goods that Italy specialises in.
From an industrial sector point of view, 2007 saw significant positive balances for mechanical machines and equipment (47.650 million Euros), other manufacturing industry (10.675 million), products of the textiles and clothing industry (10.222 million), leather and products made from leather, skins and similar items (6.456 million), products from non metalliferous minerals processing (6.138 million), and refined petroleum products (6.126 million). In percentage improvement terms, the export of ships and boats (+37.6%), steel products (+19.2%), machines and equipment for the production and use of mechanical energy (+16.1%), pipes (+16%), automobiles (+15,2%), engines, electrical generators and transformers (+14,5 %), other machines for special uses (+14,4%), and refined petroleum products (+14,2%) are pointed out as being among the most dynamic categories.
The geographical areas in relation to which the largest trade deficit was recorded in 2007 was East Asia (-15.845 million Euros). Germany and France were confirmed as being the largest markets for Made in Italy exports, with shares of 12.9% and 11.4% respectively. Spain has overtaken the United States in third place: the share in these two markets was 7.4% and 6.8%. The most dynamic areas were almost all in the East: Russia (+25.6%), Poland (+21.7%), China (+11%). In Europe export performance to Belgium (+10.7%) and Spain (+8.2%) stood out. There were only slight increases to Germany and France (+5 and +4.8% each) but these are markets that are already mature.