Doing Business in Italy 2013 measures business regulations and their enforcement in 13 Italian cities –Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Campobasso, Catanzaro, L’Aquila, Milan, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Potenza, Rome and Turin– and 7 ports –Cagliari, Catania, Genoa, Gioia Tauro, Naples, Taranto and Trieste. The report measures regulations affecting 5 stages of the life of a small or medium-size business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, enforcing contracts and trading across borders.
- It is easiest to deal with construction permits and register property in Bologna, enforce a contract in Turin, and start a business in Catanzaro or Padua. In trading across borders, Genoa is the best performing gateway port and Catania leads amongst the regional and transshipment ports.
- Differences from one city to another can be extreme. In the case of dealing with construction permits, the main delay is in obtaining a building permit from the municipality. In Catanzaro and Palermo, this step alone takes six months, while the same procedure takes half that time in Campobasso, Naples, and Potenza, and only one month in Milan.
- The good news is that the regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs in Italy is improving, and the pace of change is picking up. When we compare Italy’s performance since 2005, the global Doing Business report shows how much the regulatory environment has changed for the better.
- Despite these good practices, challenges remain. Firms across Italy still face inefficient and lengthy procedures that carry a high cost, especially in the areas of dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts.
- Cities in Italy have a lot to gain from adopting good practices that are working elsewhere in the country and reform-minded local governments can use the World Bank Group’s Doing Business indicators to motivate and sustain reform efforts.