Genoa - “Customs policy on China is not at all unrelated to European issues: because Chinese steel will have to find other outlets, pouring this production capacity into Europe.” Whilst at the annual meeting, Riccardo Braggio, president of the Ligurian Association for Foreign Trade (ALCE), warns about the changes that are taking place in the global economy, which if not properly managed could quickly transfer to the local economy.
During the meeting, the various inter-association platforms (with CNA, Confindustria, and the University of Genoa) were talked about with regard to supporting the international outreach of companies, an area in which Liguria still contributes marginally both in terms of imports (2.2% of the Italian total, €8.9 billion) and exports (1.8% of the total, €7.9 billion). In 2017, exports from Liguria and imports to it increased considerably (+8% +15% respectively) with a trend that is also higher than the national average (+7%; +9%). The increase in exports from Liguria was in line with that recorded in the North-West of Italy. In particular, except for the so-called volatile components (shipbuilding orders and refined oil products), the increase in exports in 2016 and 2017 was 15%. Geographically, 43% of Ligurian imports and 47% of Ligurian exports have a European country as a partner. 27% of the remaining imports were from Asia, 16% from Africa and 13% from America. On the other hand, exports outside Europe went to Asia (22%), America (17%) and Africa (11%).
And Liguria imports products mainly from Spain, the United States, Azerbaijan, Germany, France, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and the Netherlands. Its top three trading partners for exports are the United States, France and Germany. Donald Trump’s policies could heavily penalise Ligurian commerce because of the introduction of restrictions on trade with the United States. In fact, the United States was Liguria’s leading commercial partner for exports in 2017. Even if shipbuilding data were to be removed from consideration, the United States would still be Liguria’s third largest export partner, preceded by France and Germany. In 2017, Liguria exported goods to the United States for €879 million while imports came to €771 million. In 2016 and 2017, exports to the United States grew significantly, also because of an increase in exports linked to the naval sector. Excluding ships and boats, Ligurian exports to the United States generally consist of chemicals (15%), machinery and equipment (13%), and food products(7%).
In terms of trends, in addition to the naval sector, exports of rubber goods (which went from US $2.5 million to $32.3 million) and related products connected to the metal and motor vehicle/trailer sector have increased significantly. Exports of machinery and vegetable and animal oils and fats are also on the increase.