SMEs and foreign presence

Chemical industry in Italy is characterised by the well balanced presence of three different actors, all of them playing a very important role: Italian SMEs, Italian medium and large companies and foreign owned companies.

SMEs play a very important role in many European countries but their presence is particularly important in Italy where they account for 38% of the total value of  production. Such companies are active especially in fine and specialty chemicals where scale economies are not very relevant and the key of success often consists in offering to customers tailor made products.

Foreign owned chemical companies in Italy are 270 and employ about 33 thousand workers. They represent 38% of the whole Italian chemical production value and a similar share in terms of export (35%), which demonstrates that their presence in Italy is not aimed only at serving the domestic market and that Italy is considered as a valuable productive base. Many of them also realize R&D activities in Italy.

Produzione per tipologia di impresa
The chemical industry in Italy 2017