CANNES, France, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
A high-level delegation of Italian government ministers, real estate and trade officials is flying the "Invest in Italy" banner at the annual MIPIM world real estate fair, which got underway Wednesday in Cannes.
This year, Italy is showcasing more than a thousand state-owned properties, including historic villas and palaces and a range of development opportunities in both the residential and commercial real estate sectors.
Over the past 24 months, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pushed through a raft of economic reforms designed to cut red tape, create a more flexible labour market and lower a variety of taxes. The aim, as the Prime Minister said recently, is to show that "Italy is back" as an investor-friendly country with an economy that is growing again after years of recession.
In 2015 Italy's privatization efforts saw the sale of €752m worth of state-owned properties, ranking Italy's real estate disposals just behind the UK (€842m) and ahead of Germany (€699m) and France (€572m).
The Rome-based Invest in Italy office of the Ministry of Economic Development, in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), has also been re-energized by the prime minister's efforts and is now offering one-stop shopping for foreign investors.
Among its recent achievements, the newly streamlined FDI office managed to clear the way for a €1.4bn investment by Australia's Westfield group that will lead to the construction near Milan's Linate airport of what will become in 2020 the largest shopping complex in Europe, a sprawling 235,000 square-meter development that will feature 300 shops and 50 restaurants. The project will create 27,000 new jobs. The same team is now clearing away obstacles that could see more than €6bn of new investments in 20 other major Italian real estate projects.
Among those attending MIPIM are Italy's Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti and Ivan Scalfarotto, the newly named Vice Minister at the Ministry of Economic Development. At a special "Italy Day" conference held Wednesday and chaired by Riccardo Monti, President of ITA, the first 200 property assets went online on the new portal: http://www.investinitaly.com.
"Our presence here today," said Scalfarotto, "is proof of our ability to bring together key players in the public and private sectors." The Vice Minister said that total real estate transactions in Italy increased by 52.8% in 2015, to more than €8bn, of which three quarters came from foreign investment.
"The Government intends to build on this positive trend by accelerating its reforms and its policies aimed at making foreign direct investment in real estate simpler, more transparent and more secure," Scalfarotto added. The new web platform, he said, would contribute to making state-owned properties available to investors.
SOURCE Italian Trade Agency