Investing in Rome
From the Colosseum to global corporations worth millions – there is probably no city that has maintained its international importance throughout the centuries better than Rome. In Antiquity, Rome was the birthplace of Western civilization – center of the politics, economy and culture. Nowadays, Rome is the capital of the third largest economy in Europe, Italy, and has been transformed in an administrative and financial hub, attracting investors from all over the world.
Aiming to make foreign investments in Rome, Italy even more successful, ILF (Italy Law Firms) and its consultants offer legal and business advice for non-resident clients that are planning to transfer a company, purchase a property or set up a business in Rome, Italy. The ILF staff is composed of Italian lawyers, accountants, web and marketing experts, engineers, which are all fluent in English and have collaborated with international investors to create and support business or start ups in Italy over the past 15 years in fields ranging all the way from real estate to investments in the digital or industrial sphere.
According to the European Attractiveness Survey, conducted by Ernst & Young (EY) – one of the most largely recognized multinational consultancy firms – Rome is in the top 10 list of the most economically attractive cities in Europe. Italy’s capital has hit the top 10 in 2016 and has since then kept its position in the prestigious ranking, showing an annual increase by 5% in the economic attractiveness index of the city. With this result, Rome comes on the 6th places, just behind London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Madrid. The survey is based on the Foreign Direct Investment criteria (FDI), showing the number of direct investors, who come from abroad, and own at least 10% of the voting power of a direct investment enterprise. Latest data show that European countries are the most attractive for FDIs, thus becoming top performers for their contribution to the global FDI growth.
“All roads lead to Rome”, as the proverb goes – and indeed Rome’s strategic geographical location boosts the exchange of goods and services, both within Italy and internationally. The capital city is located in the heart of Italy, hence being an important transportation point for both the Southern and the Northern regions. The excellent transport system available in Rome – two airports, two main central railway stations, a subway, and a nearby port, allow for transport by air, road, rail, and sea. Looking on the global scale, and given its Mediterranean location, Rome serves as a bridge between Europe and Africa, thus enabling international trade. Inside Europe, passengers and goods can be transported from Rome to anywhere else on the Old Continent within 2 to 4 hours. These reasons explain the vital role that Rome has had and still has in European and international economic relations.
Rome draws around 10 million international tourists annually, thus being one of the most visited cities in the world and the third most visited city in Europe (after London and Paris). And these numbers are still growing – the touristic presence in the capital (the total number of nights spent by arriving tourists) has increased by 46,5% since the year 2000, statistics show. The center of the Ancient Roman Empire definitely knows how to monetize history – data from the leading Italian economic journal Il Sole 24 Ore, quotes that Rome is the Italian province with the largest influx of international tourism revenues, amounting to 6.74 billion euros for the year 2017, with an increase of 20.3% compared to the previous year.
The economy of Rome is characterized by the absence of heavy industry; instead, it mainly relies on commercial activities and provision of services. The banking sector is also very well-developed, with 91 banks operating on the territory of Rome. The capital city occupies 20% of the entire real estate market in Italy, shows data of the transational commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield. The Real Estate Market Overview, conducted by the global network of PricewaterhouseCoopers, on the other hand, shows that over the period 2004 – 2016, the historical trend of NNT (Number of Normalized Transactions) of residential estate in Rome has presented an average value of 32.097 transactions. The lowest result was scored in the times of the financial crisis of 2013, followed by a recover over the last two years with a growth rate of 27,01% in 2016.
Finally, foreign investments are promoted with concrete means of support by the Italian government. These include various types of financial assistance for investors, which encompass tax benefits, state guarantees for exporters and discounted interest rates. In particular, foreign companies that invest a sum exceeding the average investment for the past 5 years, are eligible to get a tax deduction from taxable income to the limit of the excess investment. Furthermore and depending on the geographical location, foreign investors can avail an investment grant of up to 65% of the investment in acquiring fixed assets in the country.
With all of these trends and numbers, Rome does remain the eternal city and a secure place for foreign investment in the long-term. In the last 10 years (from 2008 to 2018), Rome has acquired 11 billion euros of total investments, and has thus proven its place on the global financial market. Working in the above realities and aiming to enable a rewarding transition of international businesses on the Italian market, ILF offers expertise consultancy on a range of legal and financial matters, and together with its network of companies and associated professionals, it provides the perfect guide for any foreign investor in Italy.
The contents of this page should not be taken as an authoritative statement of Italian law and practice. Neither the author nor the publisher are responsible for the results of actions taken on the basis of information contained in this summary, nor for any errors or omissions. This text is not intended to render legal, accounting or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.