Italy lags behind on inward investment by elias241


									Italy lags behind on inward investment -                          

            January 16, 2012 4:41 pm

            By Giulia Segreti in Rome

                 Just as young Italians leave in search of a better future, many foreign companies find little
                 interest in investing in the eurozone’s third largest economy, fearing its Byzantine
                 bureaucracy and shifting legislation.

                 According to the World Investment report by the UN trade and development agency, Italy lost
                 its position in the top 20 countries by foreign direct investment inflows in 2010, attracting
                 only $9.5bn – a quarter of France’s FDI.

                 The experience of BG, the UK gas company, offers one example of the pitfalls of investing in
                 Italy. Its €600m gas terminal project in the port of Brindisi was potentially the biggest single
                 investment in Italy at the time, but has been on hold for five years. BG is waiting for a green
                 light from the Ministry of Economic Development to restart construction, which was
                 suspended in 2007 because of opposition by local authorities and disputed criminal

                 “There is no certainty on the timing of anything,” said BG of the delay, which it said had cost
                 €200m in legal fees, maintenance, suspended works and fixed expenses. The ministry had no
                 immediate comment.

                 Italy’s weaknesses are highlighted in the World Bank’s Doing Business report, where it ranks
                 87th, below Ghana, Zambia and Mongolia.

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