Italy is located northwest of France and south of Austria and Switzerland. The estimated population of Italy is 58,262,000 as of 1995. In addition to the mainland Italy also has two large islands in the Mediterranean Sea called Sicily and Sardinia as well as some smaller islands called Capri, Ischia, Elba, and Lipari Islands. The capital of Italy is Rome and this city is also the largest of all of the cities in Italy
People and Birth Rate
The great majority of the population in Italy naturally speaks Italian. Although there are many different dialects throughout the country but they are to be generalized as Italian. In addition to the Italian speaking community there are small German, French, and Slavic speaking minorities located in Italy. In Italy the main religion that is practiced is Roman Catholic.
The birth rate of Italian women is 1.2 children. This is a statistic that has been falling for many years. This is about half of the birth rate of an American women. At this rate, Italy’s population will fall by nearly a third in 50 years, from about 57 million to about 41 million.
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
Business Economics and Exports
Italy began to industrialize late in comparison to other European nations, and until World War II was largely an agricultural country. However, after 1950 industry was developed rapidly so that by the 1990s industry contributed about 35% of the annual gross domestic product and agriculture less than 4%. The principal farm products are fruits, sugar beets, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, soybeans, grain, olives and olive oil, and livestock (especially cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats). In addition, much wine is produced from grapes grown throughout the country. There is a small fishing industry.
Industry is centered in the north, particularly in the golden triangle of Milan-Turin-Genoa. Italy’s economy has been gradually diversifying, shifting from food and textiles to engineering, steel, and chemical products. The chief manufactures of the country include iron, steel, and other metal products; refined petroleum; chemicals; electrical and non electrical machinery; motor vehicles; textiles and clothing; printed materials; and plastics. Although many of Italy’s important industries are state-owned, the trend in recent years has been toward privatization. The service sector has growing importance in Italy; by the early 1990s it employed well over half of the labor force.
Italy has only limited mineral resources and has consistently increased its mineral imports; the chief minerals produced are petroleum (especially in Sicily), lignite, iron ore, iron pyrites, bauxite, sulfur, mercury, and marble. There are also large deposits of natural gas (methane), and much hydroelectricity is generated. Italy, however, is still greatly dependent on oil to meet its energy requirements, and most of it must be imported.
Italy has a large foreign trade, facilitated by its sizable commercial shipping fleet. The leading exports are textiles and wearing apparel, metals, machinery, motor vehicles, and chemicals; the main imports are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food and food products, and minerals (especially petroleum). Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange. The chief trade partners are Germany, France, the United States, and Great Britain. The nation has greatly improved its highway system in the postwar years, especially in the South.
Italy’s economy has deceptive strength because it is supported by a substantial underground economy that functions outside government controls. Despite significant government progress in the 1990s in its war against organized crime, the Mafia continues to exert a strong influence in S Italy, often hindering governmental programs aimed at integrating the region more fully economically and politically into the national scene. The spread of drugs has become a major problem in Italy, which has the highest incidence of drug addiction in Europe.
The Italians currency is conducted in the form of Lira. Below is the current currency conversion chart for the Italian Lira. This chart was provided by wwww.x-rates.com
To Italian LiraIn Italian Lira
European Monetary Union0.000521936.27000
Hong Kong Dollars0.00378264.82749
Mexican New Pesos0.00474211.09606
New Zealand Dollars0.00108922.69235
South African Rand0.00381262.46188
South Korean Won0.617311.61993
Sri Lanka Rupee0.0412524.24384
United States Dollar0.000482065.57499
Under the 1948 constitution, legislative power is vested in a bicameral parliament consisting of the 630-member chamber of deputies, which is popularly elected, and the senate, made up of 315 members elected by region, plus 11 life members. The chamber is the more important body. The council of ministers, led by the premier, is the country’s executive; it must have the confidence of parliament. The head of state is the president, chosen in a joint session by parliament. The country is divided into 20 regions, which are subdivided into a total of 94 provinces. The country’s 20 regions also have parliaments and governments with limited powers. In 1989 the Italian judicial system was significantly changed, allowing for cross-examination of witnesses and the assumption of innocence on the part of the defendant.
As you can see Italy seems to import many goods because they are not fit to the manufacturing and development needs of todays market. Italy shows potential, in fact Italys economy is on the rise and has been for a few years now. I would say if I had to market in a specific product area that it would be in the biotech arena. My sole decision lies on the great progress that the U.S. has had in recent years in this field. Biotechs offer incredible solutions for todays medical issues and they are constantly making breakthroughs. I think there is a market for these goods in the Country of Italy because there is economy is getting stronger every year and their need for technology is also growing.
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