Italian export: who goes up and who goes down in 2017

Italian exports travel at high speed and have no intention of stopping. This is what emerged from the presentation of SACE’s Export 2017 report “Export unchained, where growth awaits Made in Italy” which has proved to be an excellent opportunity not only to analyze the ability to sell our companies abroad at the macro level but also to better understand in detail which countries will be where the demand for Made in Italy will grow the most.

First of all, it must be said that for 2017 the forecast speaks of a significant growth in our exports – which after the increase of 1.2% in 2016 – is expected to show a much more substantial increase for the current year (3/4%).

Over the next four years (2017-2020) the average growth in our sales abroad will be 4% and the impact of exports on GDP will also rise significantly from 30.4% in 2016 to 32.4% by 2020, almost accounting for a third of the annual wealth produced in the Belpaese.

Who buys Made in Italy?

United States: a key market for Italian exports that, despite Trump’s protectionist threats, should continue to give important satisfaction to our SMEs, growing at a rate of 5%. However, Washington’s performance will be strongly influenced by the US President’s ability to actually implement what was promised in the election campaign and particular reference to fiscal policy. An expansive tax policy, with significant cuts in taxes for businesses and people, would in fact have absolutely positive and far from negligible effects on our export.

Major EU economies: in 2017 in none of Europe’s major economies – Germany (up 4%), France (3.2%) Spain (6.8%) – the demand for Made in Italy will continue to decline. However, the most surprising figure is from London because even the start of the Brexit negotiations should not be able to bring down sales to the UK, which are expected to grow by 2.3%.

Eastern Europe: the growth of Italian exports in this area will be broad-based with the Czech Republic and Hungary (up 6%) who will play the lion’s share followed by Poland (4.4%), Ukraine (3.1%), Bulgaria (2.5%) Romania (2.1%). Still negative numbers for Russia (-3.1%) Belarus (-2.5%) although, for both countries, growth is expected to be more than 2% from next year.

Mena (Middle East and North Africa): In this area, demand for Italian products continues to be strongly influenced by the low price of oil, a phenomenon that corrodes the purchasing power of many of the countries in the area. Among these, a good performance is expected from Iran (11.1%), Morocco (6.2%), Turkey (3.8%), Egypt (3.2%), Saudi Arabia (2.1%) Qatar (1.5%). Evil instead Libya (-6.1%), United Arab Emirates (-1%) Algeria (-0.1%).

Asia-Pacific: this is the area where real fireworks are planned for Made in Italy. It is no coincidence that Asia is the most dynamic region globally (6.1%) where the growing purchasing power of local people drives demand for agri-food products and services. The numerical data leave little room for interpretation when you consider that the countries with the “worst” trends are Australia (2.7%), Hong Kong (3.2%) Japan (3.4%). At the top of the ranking for the growth rate in the purchase of Italian exports is Myanmar (up 9%), Sri Lanka (up 8.7%), Bangladesh (7.1%) Taiwan (6.3%).

Latin America: after a 2016 to forget the South American area should relaunch in 2017. Macri’s Argentina was good (2.8%) which, with its reforms, is opening up the country to foreign business investment. The most virtuous economies, however, will be Mexico (4.6%) Chile (4.4%) while Brazil is still expected to decline (-2.8%), a giant experienced by heavy political and economic uncertainty that is not expected to subside until 2018.

Sub-Saharan Africa: the whole region is not in good health (overall GDP in 2017 will be negative: -0.4%) and the future of the area will be strongly affected by the ability of leading countries such as Angola, Nigeria and South Africa to return to growth at a high rate. Contrasts are Senegal (up 7.2%), Ghana (5.9%) Kenya (5.7%), due to a more diversified economic structure and therefore less linked to the development of the commodity, energy and mining market.

Which countries to focus on?

In the final part, SACE’s report suggests 15 destinations for Italian companies to focus on in the coming years.
These include large markets (United States, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa), smaller companies (United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia) and some surprises (Mexico, Vietnam, Qatar, Peru and Kenya).

Source: by Exportiamo, by Marco Sabatini.
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