An Italian Overview
Italy has a diversified industrial economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with high unemployment. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 15% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors. Italy has moved slowly on implementing needed structural reforms, such as reducing graft, overhauling costly entitlement programmes, and increasing employment opportunities for young workers, particularly women. These conditions will be exacerbated in the near-term by the global economic downturn, but in the longer-term Italy's low fertility rate and quota-driven immigration policies will increasingly strain its economy. The Italian government has struggled to limit government spending, but Italy's exceedingly high public debt remains above 115% of GDP, and its fiscal deficit - just 1.5% of GDP in 2007 - exceeded 5% in 2009 as the costs of servicing the country's debt rose. A tax amnesty program implemented in late 2009 to repatriate untaxed assets held abroad has netted the federal government more than $135 billion.
A New Zealand Overview
Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialised, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for 10 consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy posted a 1.4% decline in 2009, but pulled out of recession late in the year. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.
|NZ Wine Industry 2008||Nuova Zelanda Commercio Estero||DHL Export Barometer July 2008|
|Italy Wine Industry 2008||Italy Country Brief 2009||Guide to Exporting|
|Pitti Imagine 2010 Closing Figures||Doing Business in Italy||Selecting an Agent/Distributor|
|European Wine Industry||Step-by-Step Guide to Trade Fairs|
|Italy F&B Sector|
|F&B Sustainability Report May 2011