Businesses 4.0 fleeing from Piedmont. One in three invests outside the region

The bleeding of talent from Piedmont continues. Not only young graduates (around 10 thousand net exits since 2007 in a population that has 175 thousand fewer inhabitants) who emigrate in search of better opportunities, but also innovative local entrepreneurs who choose to found their company elsewhere.

In Milan, like in Paris or Berlin, but not in Turin. The alarm on the outflows of human (and also productive) capital emerges from the latest Bankitalia report on Piedmont. Well, out of a thousand high-growth companies founded by Piedmontese, 30% come to light and develop outside the region. A figure which, according to estimates by researchers at the Bank of Italy, would be much higher than in the rest of the country, which in fact stands at 23%.

The “great escape” of these companies from Piedmont risks having a negative impact on the attractiveness of the area. Because the so-called IAC companies, high-growth companies, are those capable of tripling their turnover in less than three years. They are therefore the “champions” of the business, mostly innovators, and capable of creating jobs and added value quickly.
The demographic decline
An essential type of company to make a territory like Piedmont fertile with opportunities, which is fighting against a demographic decline that appears unstoppable. Compared to 2013, Bank of Italy researchers point out, Piedmont has 174 thousand fewer inhabitants.

«A very negative natural birth-morality balance – we read in the report – and not compensated by the migration balances». The result is that the decline in the population is more intense for the working age group, widening the misalignment between supply and demand which acts as a brake on development. With qualified young people looking for opportunities in other regions, and companies looking for, but struggling to find, professional figures for their activities. Bank of Italy’s estimates on the future of Piedmont nail the region to a progressive “desertification”. Based on demographic forecasts, in twenty years the population will decrease by another 234 thousand units, and that of working age by 14%.
Investments from abroad

Despite the hemorrhage of talent, Piedmont remains attractive for multinationals who continue to invest in the area. The net flow of investments from abroad recorded a trend of more than 7.7 billion euros, compared to an outflow of 1.7 billion. Overall, multinationals produce almost half of the regional wealth: 40% of the added value is attributable to these companies, around 13 thousand units. However, the attractiveness is given by salary conditions which are lower than elsewhere. According to Bank of Italy estimates, the wage premium (lower than those recorded in the North and in Italy, equal to 35 and 43 percent respectively) is reduced to 8 percent «taking into account sectoral and dimensional differences and remains below that of the comparison areas”.

The propensity for internationalization of local companies remains high. Not only for exports which confirm themselves as a regional driving force, although in slight decline, but also for direct investments abroad, equal to 35% of regional GDP. The share of investments in countries exceeded 70 percent (it was 68 in 2021). A large part of these investments concern the automotive sector.

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