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Doing business in Italy: some cultural conventions to know
Therefore, when doing business in Italy there are certain conventions concerning the business etiquette that foreign businessmen should know, if they want to make their business successful. In fact, cross-cultural awareness can be considerably important to increase the potential of an international business.
Let's start with one point and make it very loud and clear: "Italy will never default". Italy is rich and is the 5th largest economy in the world. Italy represents 20% of the entire EU GDP and just to put things in perspective the GDP of the city of Rome alone is higher than the entire New Zealand's.
It is impossible to generalize and pinpoint the standard timetable of a typical Italian working day, as it usually depends on which job one has, the company one works for and, at times, their sector of expertise. Nevertheless, the average workday usually lasts 8 hours, although some go to work earlier than others and some finish later.
Employment in Italy
As in many other places in the world, today Italy is experiencing a challenging time with regard to work and jobs. The economic downturn that has touched so many has caused problems in Italy as well. When discussing job situation in Italy it is also important to remember that it is a complex one and not homogeneous throughout the country.
In Italy, just as in the United States, quite a diverse set of tools can be used when looking for a job . While different natures and strategies, these days such tools have a common link: the internet. The internet has become an invaluable tool when job searching: along with online job postings, one can also go through newspapers, employment exchanges, information centers, employment agencies and the Chamber of Commerce.
Before the dawn of the internet the Wanted ads in newspapers were the biggest source of job leads. These days, newspapers are still a good source, but most of the younger generation often uses the online classifieds section.
If you have a good up-to-date Blog about Italy in English please contact us and we will add it to this list - ( A reciprocal link is welcome )
2 Baci in a Pinon Tree Nice blog about Italy from Basilivcata.
About Abruzzo This site is dedicated to thoughts, comments and photographs relating to Abruzzo, Italy.
News From About Italy This site features news about Italy in both English and Italian.
Aglio Olio E Peperoncino A great blog about Italian food with good images.
Amid the Olive Trees An American woman living, working and parenting in southern Italy.
Doing business in Italy can be a complicated matter. Italian bureaucracy is notorious for its convoluted Byzantinisms, and many things are not self-evident. At the very least you'll have more than plenty of documents to compile, taxes to pay, and offices to visit, and that's even before starting your activity. Once you are up and running, you'll have to deal with the typical Italian way of conducting business, which means you need to know business dinner etiquette, the proper attire protocol, and the many unwritten rules in order to strike a good impression.
Italy is a tough market. Plenty of money exists, but distribution chains and competition are different than in the U.S., not for lack of organization, but over protection of the local brands. In fact, the system is difficult for Italians themselves, to the point that many Italian companies make more money abroad than in Italy itself. Even Fiat had to admit its sales are better internationally than in Italy.
Alitalia is the number one air carrier in Italy and one of the most recognizable airline brands in history, both domestically and internationally. Originally state owned, the airline turned private after some major financial turmoil, which saw the restructuring of the entire company as well as the creation of a new brand identity, although the same logo and colors were maintained. Since the beginning of Italian aviation history Alitalia has been the pride of the country, an international symbol of a nation that wanted to put War World II behind it and focus on an economy that was booming; giving new hope and providing new opportunities. The first fleet of Alitalia aircrafts were already elegant, with the crew and pilots traditionally dressed in the same fashion to reflect the high quality craftsmanship Italy is known for.
While technology is rife in Italy, in many ways communication remains an old fashioned business. Sure, there are text messages and companies are increasingly using Voip and Skype, but by and large Italians do not employ as much technology as other countries due to a certain kind of psychological block favoring phones and faxes. If you're from a country where companies routinely reply to email promptly, you will be in for a surprise when dealing with a lot of Italian firms.
Email v. Letters