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Why invest in the province of Milano

Milano is Lombardy's largest city and one of the world's most important economic hubs. For international business communities in the areas of finance, fashion, design and ICT multinationals, Milano represents both a benchmark and an epicentre. The city and outlying districts are home to some 3.5 million inhabitants and constitute Italy's number one area in terms of consumption and production. A total GDP per capita of €36,000 puts Milano in first place nationwide and eleventh in the world.

In addition, the area is an important international logistics centre, home to 20% of Italy's warehouses used by various operators. Milano has an international reputation as one of the cornerstones of the European economy, hardly surprising when you consider the huge amount of commercial traffic, people and global expertise that pass through every day.

Milano: the perfect choice for the 2015 Expo.

International hub

With over 100 consulates, Milano is second only to New York. The city's international repute is also enhanced by its superb transport infrastructure (three airports within a 50 km radius) and the presence of thousands of foreign companies and multinationals on Milanese soil.

Open to new businesses

More than 280,000 business of all sizes are based in the Milano area. Opening a business is easy in the city rated as one of the top ten economic hubs on the planet by Standard & Poor's. All you need is a week and a minimum level of required capital.

High potential market

Milano is blessed with a perfect location and as such has been a key trading centre for centuries. Today, an efficient and extensive infrastructure network connects the city to major European, North African and Middle Eastern markets (some 780 million potential consumers).

High quality human capital and innovation

One of the main reasons why foreign businesses invest in the Milano area is the quality of its human capital. Globally renowned academic institutions (Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi and Politecnico di Milano) and distinguished fashion & design institutes (the IED) are based here.

Business opportunities

The Milano Exhibition Centre offers lots of opportunities for businesses and contributes around €4.3 million to the local economy each year. Expo Milano 2015 will mark another important step in Milano's international development and 21 million visitors, exhibitors from 181 nations and 7000 events are expected.

Key facts

Milano Exhibition Center

The Milano Exhibition Centre site is the second largest in Europe with some 470,000 m2 of floor space. Every year 100 events are held there attended by 4.5 million visitors.

Human resource

The quality of human resources might be the same, but running a business in Milano is cheaper than in Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin and London.


Milano is one of the top 15 cities in the world in terms of global economic connectivity. (GaWC project).

Innovation hub

7 Universities
  • Università Luigi Bocconi
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • IED - Istituto Europeo di Design
  • Istituto Marangoni
  • Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
  • Università Statale
  • Università Cattolica
7 Research center / 1 Technology parks
  • Milano ranks second in Europe in terms of the number of organisations that support innovation and for the relationship between scientific research and production.
  • Università Luigi Bocconi and the Politecnico di Milano School of Management are in the top 100 in the world for Master courses in Business Administration.
  • The IED is the most important design and multimedia school in Italy, Spain, Brazil and Japan.
  • The Istituto Marangoni is the world's leading fashion institute (according to the Financial Times, Forbes and the Economist).
  • Milano ranks sixth in Europe for the number of R&D labs.

Key sectors

Creative industry

Milano is synonymous with fashion and design and every year hosts thousands of industry events. The city is home to the most important fashion district in the world aside from Paris and New York. This is no fluke: the Milano-based fashion industry brings in €70 billion and exports €3 billion of goods alone. Milano has shaped the history of design: the International Furniture Fair is the most important event of its kind in the world.

Financial and Consultancy services

Milano is a financial centre par excellence and the Italian gateway to international capital markets. With more than 170 banks (49 non-Italian) and about 10,000 financial service companies (employing 70,000 people), Milano is the ideal choice if you aim to offer SMEs top class financial and consultancy services. The market is constantly growing too, even though leading multinationals in the sector are already based in the Lombard capital.

Life sciences & Biotechnology

Milano boasts some of the most advanced scientific (pure and clinical) research centres in Europe, which specialise in different areas. Furthermore, 26% of all Italian biotechnology firms are based in the city. This brings in a total of €3.4 billion (45% of the national and 70% of the regional industry turnover). Finally, 22% of Italian patents are registered in the Milano area.

ICT e Media

Milano is an ICT pioneer, home to around 1200 industry companies including leading European multinationals who have set up offices and research centres. One of the most "cabled" cities in Europe, Milano has an advanced Internet network ensuring effective information flow within and between businesses. Milano is also renowned as a multimedia and publishing capital and the perfect location for creative and technological development in these areas.

Retail & Commerce

Milano is a world shopping capital which attracts a large number of high potential consumers. This is due to the prominence of the fashion industry and the growing number of shopping centres in the area. The retail sector is number one in terms of companies and employees. Tourism-related commerce is also on the rise, especially from Russia and Asia. The sector brings in €1 billion per year.

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