Capital machinery is the pillar of the national trade surplus. With a value of € 82 billion, the sector represents the front line of our exports, and yet part of its potential is still unexpressed or undervalued.
Italian capital machinery manufacturers are mostly small and midsize companies but they play a prominent role in the national economy: in fact, they account for 6% of manufacturing companies and 12% of industry jobs.
Size remains a characteristic and a penalizing factor from the standpoint of economies of scale, compared to European competitors, which are almost twice as large on average.
A survey conducted by SACE including over 200 Italian companies in the sector revealed some distinctive traits and some issues about the Italian capital machinery industry:
- the competition is international but the supply chain is primarily national;
- size and restricted access to non-banking sources of capital are still hindering growth;
- the primary exposure is still to neighboring markets;
- product personalization and high technological content are distinctive aspects of production, but there are competitive disadvantages on brand and pricing.
The opportunities for Italian exports in this sector are strong in various countries, including the United States, Spain and Poland, but also in the United Arab Emirates, India and Mexico. A new, less conservative business model is the essential prerequisite for seizing the opportunities of internationalization and transforming the goal of € 100 billion in exports of capital machinery in 2019 into a concrete reality.
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