Made in Italy: staying power, potential and limits of the tricolour
It should have been a debacle, but the system held up. Confindustria confirms it with satisfaction: Made in Italy goods have performed despite the spread of the pandemic which has put a strain on the industrial sector the world over. If Great Britain, the United States and Germany have suffered the most, with losses of up to 6%, the production of Italian goods and their appeal on the foreign market dream have been a welcome variable of the Covid-19 era.
But which are the companies that have won the challenge against Coronavirus and 2020? Without a doubt, the ones that invest in innovation to survive and export abroad to grow. Those that focus on sustainability and human capital. And who have handled the digital transition well. Unlike these, SMEs are destined to suffer an inevitable collapse, placing all their hopes in the action of the “nanny” state, to which all responsibility is devolved: subsidize and produce.
The unexpected surprise of 2020 is precisely the resilience of the Italian industrial system, 80% of which are SMEs that have been able to reinvent themselves or partially consolidate their performance. Suffice to say that Italian industry will lose less than its European competitors: the decline in revenues is estimated at around 1.7%, while orders are growing by 1.2%. A drop of 1.5% in exports in October follows five months of growth and a return to February values only in autumn.
Among the most virtuous companies are those in the chemical sector that produce biodegradable plastics. The pandemic and its spread have determined a further leap forward in this type of production and the companies that use them. By now, entrepreneurs know the importance of the ESG factor (governance, social and government) to attract investors and implement the value of brands.
That is, that value in general of the Italian goods chain that, in the spring with the first terrible wave of the virus, many assumed was compromised. However, this was not the case and Made in Italy held firm. Last century saw the terrible year which marked the explosion of Spanish flu and opened, after the failure of the golden republic of Weimar, the way to Nazism and fascism. In the new millennium, the ghosts of the past re-emerge but the photograph of the social fabric is profoundly different: if the state and industry are able to create jobs, they will secure the stability of the entire system.