Through the Global Attractiveness Index The European House – Ambrosetti, in evaluating the attractiveness of country systems, has endeavored to build and transfer an approach and methodologies that are more objective and reliable than those used to-date.
During the 42nd “Intelligence on the World, Europe and Italy” Forum, the Global Attractiveness Index, created by The European House – Ambrosetti in collaboration with ABB, Toyota Material Handling Europe and Unilever was presented.
This initiative—in its first year—aims at launching a process whose end-goal is not the “demolition” in itself of the country rankings, but rather the construction and transfer of an approach and methodologies that are more objective and reliable in evaluating the attractiveness of country systems.
In fact, in the current climate of instability and uncertainty, competition between areas to attract both human and financial resources is amplified and not only assumes the optimization of those factors that enable a pro-business environment, but also the ability to strategically manage the country’s image and its competitiveness. It is no accident that, currently, the number of international rankings that compare countries abounds: The European House – Ambrosetti consultants counted a full 85.
Unfortunately, over the last ten years (and more), in all the most authoritative and widely-used rankings, Italy has almost always appeared in the lowest positions among the advanced economies and often behind developing countries. As an example, Italy is in 77th place globally in terms of freedom of the press (behind Namibia or Burkina Faso), 45th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report (trailing Malaysia and Mauritius) and is next-to-last in Europe in terms of corruption (in the most recent International Transparency Report, Italy is 61st, compared with Uruguay in 21st place).
It is clear that these rankings, even considering the problematic aspects of Italy and its economy, represent a significant distortion of reality and clash with the innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities of the country, and, together with other factors, result in a cascade of negative effects. For example, the worrying figures regarding flows of foreign direct investment into Italy, which become even more alarming if only the country’s southern regions are taken into consideration.
On the other hand, despite its position in the most popular rankings, Italy has something positive to say that is reflected, for example, in its 400,000 manufacturing companies—double the number in Germany or, if your prefer, equal to Germany and France combined. Or the high level of quality and productivity of its researchers which is recognized on an international level.
These considerations do not only apply to Italy, but also many other countries whose real fundamental attributes are not correctly reflected.
Given these observations, The European House - Ambrosetti, in collaboration with ABB, Toyota Material Handling Europe and Unilever , has launched the Global Attractiveness Index with the contribution of two top-level advisors: Ferruccio de Bortoli (President, Casa Editrice Longanesi and Associazione Vidas) and Enrico Giovannini (Professor of Economic Statistics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, and former president of ISTAT and Italian Minister of Labor and Social Policies).
The report, which will be presented during the 42nd “Intelligence on the World, Europe and Italy” Forum, summarizes the findings of the first year of activity of the Global Attractiveness Index Advisory Board, which analyzed, in detail, the methodologies used to construct the main international rankings. Then, starting from the problem-areas uncovered, it has built an innovative and reliable index of attractiveness—the Global Attractiveness Index—to present to the business community and policy makers. The Index seeks to bridge a number of gaps (which are presented in the report) that emerged from a detailed examination of the other international rankings, by adopting an advanced conceptual approach and methodology that is fully in line with international best practices regarding composite indicators.
In conjunction with this activity, thanks to scouting of international best practices in managing the country’s image, The European House – Ambrosetti drew up a progress report for Italy and developed a number of operational proposals and recommendations for the Italian government aimed at implementing an action strategy to improve Italy’s image and attractiveness.
As part of this process, which will be implemented over time, a collaborative relationship has been activated with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, for which a (still to be concluded) process involving statistical validation and quality control of the Global Attractiveness Index has been initiated.