Italy: competitiveness is the starting point to shine once more
Recovering competitiveness is the challenge of the next twenty years, according to analysts’ studies. During 2018, competitiveness continued getting worse until it fell apart: in 1999 we were placed 30th in the world in the Imd ranking of Lausanne; in 2019 we fell to 44th place. This dizzying decline cannot be recovered at the same growth rate before 2039.
A nation’s competitiveness on the market is given by the competitiveness of thecompanies that make up the country system. A company is competitive if it is able to operate successfully on the markets, and in particular the game is played on lower prices, higher production or excellent products. But in the last year, with shrinking productivity, decreasing exports and the noticeable slowing down of the global economy, the already lacklustre performance of the Italian company has suffered a drastic halt.
Among these decisive factors, Italian companies certainly pay the price for a significant decrease in productivity, the scarce yield of which contributes to the zero growth of the peninsula. Wages certainly affect it, but reducing them cannot be the solution, on pain of a drop in the purchasing power of workers that would then result in a contraction in domestic demand, which is undesirable. On the other hand, we can intervene as Confindustria says, reducing the gap between the cost of labour and the wages received.
Nor can public spending be counted on because the supporting strategies for demand have been in deficit for some years and the State is forbidden from incurring further debt.
In general, considering the link of cause and effect between productivity and export, and starting from the assumption that the companies who are the most present in foreign markets are the most productive and have suffered the least from the crisis, it is necessary to develop a new business philosophy that supports Industry 4.0 and accompanies companies during the change which will inevitably impinge on them. The next government must set up a wide-ranging project for the recovery of competitiveness if it wants to avoid the worst.