Business & Leadership

The Expo challenge. A symbol of Italian Renaissance?

 

 


Milan hosts the 2015 Universal Exposition, which is expected to attract 20 million people over the next 6 months. 11 million tickets have been sold so far. According to the Milanese Chamber of Commerce, the Expo will be a driving force for the growth of the economy, creating satellite activities worth 25 billion Euros.

Impact on the legal service sector

Has the positive impact of the World fair in the country’s economy converted itself into more mandates for law firms? According to a study conducted by the legal community, the Expo’s effect seems to be not that relevant even if the majority of the law firms have received at least from three to one mandates, directly and indirectly due to the Expo. The most involved legal practice areas are: commercial, tax, labor, international and administrative law; and the sectors include: intellectual property, environment, real estate and, of course, food and fashion. To give a non-exhaustive picture of the law firms implicated in the event, NCTM has advised EXPO 2015 on all the copyright and IP aspects of the guides that will ensure the proper use of the EXPO 2015 trademark from the participating countries, while a team of Orsingher Ortu was involved in the IP agreement between The Walt Disney Company Italia and EXPO 2015 about the mascot of the event. Many law firms are assisting the foreign countries attending the event, as the United Kingdom, represented by Eversheds Bianchini, or Brazil, which has chosen the Italian branch of Freshfields to handle all matters linked with construction, development and management of the Brazilian pavilion.
The aggregate of legal actors involved in the event has agreed that any improvement of Italy’s image can be a generator of business opportunities and can increase the visibility of the law firms.

Feeding the economy


Nutrire il pianeta, energia per la vita (Feeding the planet, energy for life) is the core theme of the Universal Exposition, but for many Italians, Expo 2015 represents an opportunity to feed the economy, giving a sign of resilience.
The most tangible aspiration, therefore, for Expo 2015 is that it can help boost Italy’s economy, which has been showing signs of improvement after three years of recession and decades of stagnation. Local Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, estimates it could increase GDP by 0.1%. Investment bankers expect to see rising foreign investment in Italy’s small and medium-sized businesses, from machinery to fashion and pharmaceuticals, as well as in agriculture. And Italians from north to south hope to reap the benefit of greater tourist flows, perhaps visiting the new site of the Fondazione Prada, a contemporary art institution set up by the famous fashion house. In Milan, thousands of exhibitions and events are planned for the coming months. Thanks to Expo and initiatives like the Fondazione’s, organizers predict that the next decade will belong to Milan.

Economic, and eventually, political dynamism

Mr Renzi has his enemies, but in the latest months he has scored a couple of wins: on May 4th parliament approved his electoral law, aimed to reduce the country’s chronic political instability. This follows the passing in March of his labor reform, which introduces more flexibility to Italy’s stagnating job market. No one has ever accused Mr Renzi of lack of energy; the question is rather another. Though the usual chaos continues, can Italy officially say she is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? The resilience may be yet too fragile to be ostentatiously announced, but, at the very least, the country will be hosting a successful Expo.

R.V.

Original photo:?EXPO 2015 - Milano - Piazza Castello, Expo Gate by Stefano Stabile — Personal work. Under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Common.

Read the full Special Report: Italy: Strong Local Roots

Small and medium sized enterprises and family businesses dominate the Italian economic landscape. The high quality of niche and luxury “made in Italy” products, and the strong potential of its market, have ignited the interest of foreign investors. After a long economic downturn, the country has regained international credibility, creating opportunities for independent law firms.
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