In 2015, there were 14,007 foreign affiliates resident in Italy. These enterprises employed 1.3 million persons, generated a turnover of 530 billion euros and a value added of 104 billion euros.
The economic relevance of these enterprises, as compared to resident businesses, was equal to 7.7% of persons employed, 18.4% of turnover and 15.6% of value added. The share of R&D expenditure was remarkable: 25.1%.
Foreign affiliates achieved a better performance compared with the domestically controlled firms in terms of profitability and productivity.
Goods exported by foreign affiliates were 26.1% of national export, while goods imported were 45.0% of national import.
United States were the country with the highest number of affiliates (2.347 firms) and number of persons employed (279 thousands).
In 2015, 22.796 Italian foreign affiliates operated in more than 173 countries. These enterprises employed about 1,8 million persons, and generated a turnover of 544 billion euros. The economic relevance of these enterprises, as compared to resident businesses, was equal to 15.5% of turnover, and 19.1% of turnover excluding the purchase of goods and services, where this latter variable represents a rough proxy for value added.
Italian foreign affiliates in manufacturing accounted for almost 6.532 enterprises, representing slightly more than a half of Italian affiliates active in non-financial services. However, their relevance as compared to resident businesses was remarkable than non-financial services.
Industrial activities carried out abroad by MNEs were more remarkable in United States (142 thousand employed by Italian affiliates), Romania (91 thousand persons), China (90 thousand) and Brazil (76 thousand) while services activities carried out abroad by MNEs are mainly located in the United States (108 thousand) and Brazil (68 thousand).
Labour cost per capita in Italian foreign affiliates was particularly low in Tunisia (5,7 thousand euro), Serbia (6,0 thousand euro), Romania (8,8 thousand euro) and Mexico (10,1 thousand euro) while it was higher in the United States (80,5 thousand euro), France (56,0 thousand euro) and United Kingdom (55,8 thousand euro).