Italian chemical companies are taking advantage of globalization by providing their international customers the same solutions developed for the domestic market: high innovation, customization, flexibility, just-in-time and fulfilment to very specific and tailor-made requirements, even in small quantities of products.
Exports to turnover ratio has reached 53% and has been increasing by 14 percentage points in the last 10 years. Moreover, in recent years, export performance has proved to be one of the most successful among European producers (+22% in 2010-2016).
Not only large firms, but also SMEs are strongly oriented to international markets.
Italian chemical industry is concentrated in Northern Italy (78% of chemicals employment) , close to downstream European markets and local customer companies.
In particular, Lombardy has a real vocation for chemicals: not only is it home to 31% of Italy’s chemical firms, 41% of jobs and 45% of chemicals turnover, but it is among the top five chemical regions in Europe (in terms of employees and number of companies) and the first non-German.
Chemical industry in Lombardy has different features from other European regions with strong chemicals presence: production is not concentrated in a handful of highly integrated sites, but across a network of foreign multinationals, Italian medium and large groups and local SMEs.
These companies can benefit from the presence of major universities and research centres, able to develop research and put scientists at work on industry-oriented projects.