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An "Italian model" of development
Italy has developed a very special "model" of development, which over the decades has implicated widespread industrialization, entrepreneurship and profound economic and social changes.
Today, Italy ranks as the world’s sixth economic power, is in seventh place for international imports and eighth place for exports.
As in other developed countries, about two thirds of the economy is represented by services, about one third by industry with a minimum contribution from agriculture, on the basis of the contribution of the three sectors to the creation of value added.
One of the characteristics of the "Italian model" is a strong entrepreneurial orientation: out of every hundred people, more than ten of these are linked to enterprise-building.
Among the most industrialized European countries, Italy is characterized by a production system formed by a large number of enterprises with a high component of small- and medium-size companies.
Over time they have proved able to perform successfully on the domestic and international markets.
The strong advantages of these enterprises lie in production flexibility, specialization and imagination in design and processing innovation, coupled with the ready availability of a trained and creative labor force.
These enterprises are often organized on a geographical basis in systems defined as "districts", representing networks of enterprises participating in the same production processes.
This pattern has aroused great interest throughout the world, since these industrial districts can be seen as a kind of “large enterprise” characterized by significant economies of scale and high organizational efficiency, achieved through diversification and specialization in the production process and the combining of various phases.
The districts, four-fifths of which are concentrated in Northern Italy but are now also increasing in number throughout the rest of the country, are a close-knit network supporting the entire production system, guaranteeing the "Made in Italy" brand its leading position worldwide, above all in certain sectors: food, technology and fashion.
The tourist industry also represents another strong point in the Italian system. This sector accounts for a significant percentage (6%) of the Gross Domestic Product. Italy now holds fourth place in the world for flows of international tourism, together with the related foreign currency income.