The North American market represents an unprecedented opportunity for Italian companies eager to expand their operations beyond their home country.
With a large population, a pro-innovation business culture, and a constant search for high-quality products, the US and Canada offer an ideal environment for Italian companies to succeed. However, it is important to approach this challenge with sound planning and a thorough understanding of the local markets. Through a well thought-out strategy and adaptation to the needs of North American consumers, Italian companies can open themselves up to a future of growth here.
During the month of July 2023, Roncucci&Partners, which has a presence on the North American continent through its Roncucci&Partners North America Inc. office in Miami, Florida, promoted two events dedicated precisely to Canada and the United States.
Opportunities for Italian companies in Canada
The first event, on 4 July, organised in cooperation with AICE and entitled ‘CANADA & INNOVATION – Opportunities for Italian Companies in Canada’, was held at the Confcommercio headquarters in Milan and explored the innovative dimension of the country and the opportunities offered to foreign and Italian investments in particular. From the round table, entitled ‘Artificial Intelligence, Innovation and Internationalisation for Start-UP, Scale-UP and Italian Companies in Canada’, several insights emerged from the guests: the Canadian Embassy, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada, BNL – BNP Paribas Group and Blushift Group.
Italian companies, and therefore not only start-ups, must in fact look at foreign markets not only as a market to which they can go to consolidate their business development. In fact, Canada has been presented as a system that is extremely open to interaction with foreign players. Various programmes have been made available by the Canadian authorities to foster Open Innovation paths aimed at promoting national know-how and skills. In this regard, internationalisation also means expanding a company’s own skills potential by accessing know-how located abroad.
Two figures on innovation in Canada give an idea of the level of innovation in this country:
- according to Startup Blink’s Startup Ecosystem Report 2023, Canada ranks 4th in the ranking of innovation-friendly ecosystems
- in 2017, the Canadian government announced the establishment of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, an initiative involving several Canadian universities and research centres; with this act, the Canadian government was the first to launch a national policy in favour of artificial intelligence.
Opportunities for Italian companies in the United States
The second event, held in Milan on 11 July, organised by BNL-Gruppo BNP Paribas and with the participation of CDP – Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, focused on the United States as a burgeoning market of opportunities for Italian companies that represent our Made in Italy as a strategic and valuable asset.
In the next three to five years, the US will in fact be
- Italy’s leading trading partner outside Europe
- the second largest partner after Germany
The USA will be the engine-lever to accelerate the growth and development of Italian industry. Given the slowdowns in Germany and France, it will also be the way to compensate overseas for the penalisation of trade in Europe.
As of today, 1,826 Italian investors are active in the USA, holding shares in 3,519 companies – 3,187 of which are controlling stakes – supporting some 260,000 jobs and generating a turnover of $143.7 billion. Numbers that are already important but which, given the size of the country, show how the untapped potential of Italian companies in that market is still high.
Approaching this complex and very competitive market requires method. A methodological approach based on planning is needed to help build a solid and concrete internationalisation path.
During the event, which also saw the testimony of several Italian companies already present in the US market, Roncucci&Partners provided important strategic indications and reflections to better support companies looking at the American market with curiosity and above all interest.
In fact, the US market should not only be considered as a possible destination for large companies, but also SMEs can enter the market and achieve important results, but only if one is able to pursue a project with perseverance, attention and after having outlined the most suitable strategy. Depending on the characteristics and size of the company, the reference sector, the distribution channels to be served and the willingness to invest, there may in fact be different ways of entering the US market: from the commercial partnership agreement with one or more importers/distributors, to the identification of a representative agent, to the opening of a sales office possibly with a warehouse, up to the creation of a joint venture with a local partner or the establishment of a production company.
The method of market entry, the choice of distribution channels and the service component, especially for companies offering B2B products, are essential elements for success in the US market and must only be defined after gathering and processing data and information on the reference context through in-depth analyses and feasibility studies.
At Roncucci&Partners we help companies develop themselves and their business, embrace change and evolve to thrive in a world that is increasingly complicated, insidious and requires great expertise. We do this by applying punctual methods and rigorous strategies, the result of many years of experience and the richness of the numerous success stories we have conducted all over the world. Passion and method are indeed our guides to enhance the present and build the future.