Italy's economy is changing: state-owned companies are becoming privatized, opening up the Italian market to American companies and professionals in aerospace, transportation, insurance, finance, shipping, telecommunications and other commerce.

With the Italian market opening, American companies alike AT&T and IBM will establish ties with Italian companies in the areas of Cable TV, international cellular telephone systems, the Internet and more, and need employees who speak Italian and English. American companies expanding in Italy have a great demand for software designers, systems engineers, technical support, marketers and managers who speak Italian and English.

Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts and interior, fashion, graphic and furniture design. Those planning careers in such fields greatly benefit from knowing Italian. Italy has long been a magnet for the tourism industry. In 2004 Italy headed the list of foreign destinations for vacation travel in Europe. Travel and tourism products in Italy increased by 339 percent in Italy in 2004, compared to 2003 when it grew 113 percent . This compared with the European average of 60 percent.

Italy is one of the top five economies in the world, and many employers are seeking people who speak both Italian and English. Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields. Italy is a world leader in machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery and transportation equipment.

The country was the world's 7th largest exporter in 2009. Italy's major exports and companies by sector are motor vehicles (Fiat, Aprilia, Ducati, Piaggio); chemicals and petrochemicals (Eni); energy and electrical engineering (Enel, Edison); home appliances (Candy, Indesit), aerospace and defense technologies (Alenia Aeronautica, Agusta, Finmeccanica), firearms (Beretta), fashion (Armani, Valentino, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Benetton, Prada, Luxottica); food processing (Ferrero, Barilla Group, Martini & Rossi, Campari, Parmalat); sport and luxury vehicles (Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani); yachts (Ferretti, Azimut). Italy's closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union, with whom it conducts about 59 percent of its total trade. Its largest EU trade partners, in order of market share, are Germany (12.9 percent), France (11.4 percent), and Spain (7.4 percent).

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