Italy will not leave its companies behind. While the summer approaches and the country is once again slowly looking forward to reopening its borders to tourists, Italian companies are also building back their business. The government intends to refinance the fund to sustains companies’ internationalisation efforts.
According to the latest Decree adopted by Draghi’s government, Italian companies will be able to request up to 1.2 billion euros as subsidised loans and 400 million as non-repayable funds. The program follows up previous Italian efforts, now more than a year old, to allow companies to borrow money and reassert themselves in the global market after the pandemic winds down. As always, the program is managed jointly with SIMEST, the state company assigned to internationalisation support.
The program offers seven types of financial support tailored to the necessities of each company. Rates are considerably low (0.055% per annum in June), and companies may use the money to strengthen their position in the global market. Funds will be available to request feasibility studies analysing foreign investment opportunities, to organize the business participation in international fairs and exhibitions, and to explore new business ventures abroad. Above all, the fund will be crucial in the future development of a more professional and digitally oriented Italian industry: digitalisation and innovation managers can be hired to guide Italian SMEs towards a more competitive and accessible business model laying upon a more robust digital platform.
Internationalisation loans offered by SIMEST have helped companies during the most critical phase of the economic turmoil brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Just last year, 7,600 companies (90% of them being SMEs) benefited from the program: more than 10,000 loans were requested, amounting to more than three billion euro.
According to Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, whose Ministry is directly involved in these operations, this refinancing will allow the program to play a decisive part in supporting Italian companies in their internationalization efforts once again. “Following this change and additional massive refinancing, we expect the funds to be more effective, as we guarantee their stability and sustainability. We are also trying to avoid, in the short term, another emergency interruption in the financing, like as the one that became necessary last October due to an excess of applications compared to the available resources,” said the Minister, attesting to the overwhelming popularity and success of the program.