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Bologna ranks first in Italy for attracting foreign capital for industrial investment

July 9, 2024

Bologna ranks first in Italy for attracting foreign capital for industrial investment

According to data collected by FDI Intelligence, a part of the Financial Times Group, in 2023 Bologna was the first city in Italy in terms of its ability to attract foreign capital for industrial investment, outperforming Milan and Rome, both in terms of the number of transactions carried out by foreign investors and the increase in foreign capital invested and jobs created as a result.

In addition to the national primacy, the Emilia-Romagna capital ranked third in Western Europe and sixth globally, ahead of dynamic cities such as Oslo, Barcelona and Paris. The leading city globally was Mannheim, in southwest Germany, followed in the top 10 by three other German cities (Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Munich). Milan, meanwhile, ranked 22nd in Europe (99th globally) and Rome 40th (170th globally).

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels.

Research published by FDI Intelligence outlines the growth figures for 2023 compared to the previous year -breaking records changes were recorded for Bologna: +200% in foreign greenfield investment projects, +692% in capex in investment, and +562% in new jobs created. Contributing to this excellent result were local companies, which, in addition to being strong exporters, have establishments all over the world, thus creating valuable connections which attract direct investment. Also playing a key role were the infrastructures, the organization of industries, the promotional activities implemented and the investments in innovation and research made in recent years.

Among the most relevant foreign projects that interested the Bologna area in 2023 were the United Nations University dedicated to Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for the management of human habitat change; the investment made by NTT, which has bet on the area with 200 million euros and a hiring plan of 400 hi-tech profiles by 2025; the multinational Toyota, which has created a production plant in Bologna with about 850 employees; the U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris, which has invested more than a billion euros in the Crespellano center; and the Audi-VW group, which is leading the Motor Valley's green transition with Lamborghini and Ducati.

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