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Italian trade and direct investment in North Africa


  • Riccardo Settimo

    () (Banca d'Italia)


More than three years since the events of the Arab Spring, the five North African countries � Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia are still going through a difficult transition. This study provides an overview of Italian trade and direct investment in the region. The main stylized facts are the following: (1) among the countries of the European Union, Italy is the region�s largest trading partner; (2) the region is a crucial source of energy, supplying 31 per cent of the oil and 44 per cent of the natural gas that Italy imports; (3) compared with the EU average, Italian exports are specialized in refined petroleum products and capital goods. The primary objective of Italian firms� direct investment in North African countries is to enter new markets rather than to secure lower production costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Settimo, 2014. "Italian trade and direct investment in North Africa," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 226, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_226_14

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    international trade; foreign direct investment (FDI); North Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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