Informations and abstract
Keywords: Paper Machinery Sector, Industry Structure, Internationalization Process, Foreign Direct Investments, Small Firms.
This study defines the structure and the company's behaviour of the Italian paper machinery industry, a small sector with a positive trade balance and a good competitive advantage at international level. The dynamics of exports, imports, foreign direct investments, employment, production, and other data from company's balance sheets show a quick recovery from the 2008 crisis, and a firm's growth strategy based on niche specialization at worldwide level. Successful firms supply emerging markets with new plants (as local demand for paper is increasing) and old industrial markets with environmental-friendly equipment (as local demand is quite stable). The innovation process is mainly focused on equipment that reduce energy and non-renewable resources, mainly due to the accumulation of tacit knowledge on specific machinery or component. The strong links between machinery producers and machinery users (paper mills) in the local industrial districts (such as Lucca) have a relevant role in fostering the innovation and the internationalization process.