Rome Business. Doing business in Rome
Doing business in Rome is like doing business in any other Italian city a nightmare for the retailer and most customers. The scheme launched a few years back aimed to maximize the possibilities opened up by tourism and to encourage major national and multinational corporations to have a presence in Rome has more or less failed to have any real impact on the city.
Most of the American Multinationals did not choose Rome when it came to having a presence in Europe instead they choose Ireland or the Uk as their European HQ.
The service sector, which accounts for over 50% of GDP replies heavely on tourism, which is actually Romes main industry, Other significant industries in the capital include finance, banking, insurance, printing, publishing and fashion.
The business district is largely clustered in and around the city centre.
Rome does have many annual trade fairs and large business conventions are normally held in EUR, a modern suburb six kilometres (four miles) south of the city centre.
Unemployment in Rome, which as in most other cities was 11.2% in 2010, is higher than the national average and is on an upward spiral due to the worldwide crisis.
Business Etiquette is like in most other places, a friendly firm handshake, business is business and is treated as a serious affair (social kissing is reserved for friends and family). When meeting a business person or attending a business metting or lunch, business cards are exchanged. English is becoming more and more important all over the world so it is not unusual to have cards printed in duel languages, with English on one side Italian on the other.
Colleagues are normally addressed by their surname and academic/professional titles respected. Although some of the Italian business community will speak some English or French, Italian is still the dominant language of business. It is wise to take the precaution of employing an interpreter, to minimise the degree of misunderstandings.
In Rome, appearance counts. It is best to dress in a smart suit (with tie for men and stylish accessories for women). The odd designer label does no harm. Personal relationships are extremely important and it is unlikely that decisions will be made before trust has been established between the two parties. Business lunches provide the ideal opportunity to build relationships and small talk is an essential part of any business meeting. Standard office hours are 0900-1700, with an hour-long lunch break.