Tullio Buccellato, Giancarlo Corò

Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Complexity: Key Elements for a Targeted Industrial Policy in Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Foreign Direct Investments, Economic complexity, Strategic industrial policy

Foreign direct investments (fdis) are generally recognized as crucial factors of development and modernization with national economies. In the economic literature, there is a broad consensus on the positive impact of fdis on destination countries, both at the macroeconomic and employment level. The concern about knowledge and know-how transfers that fdis can activate between businesses and territories is gaining momentum. Our article focuses on this topic, using, in particular, the approach to economic complexity as a tool to analyze the productive knowledge endowment of the territory. In the introduction, we point out the fundamental elements of the economic complexity and discuss the importance of a strategic approach to attract fdis. Our analysis follows the localization strategies of fdis in Italy and considers them in relation to the different degree of economic complexity within the local systems. After this locally-focused interpretation, we present an analysis of the network of the international partners involved in the fdis and the sectors where fdis in Italy are concentrated. Finally, the product space is discussed in more detail in order to highlight some of the areas where Italy could leverage fdis to strengthen its pool of knowledge and increase the complexity of its production system.

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