The Balkan Area Development: Threats and Opportunities for Italian Companies’ Investment Strategies

  •  Francesco Scalera    


The globalisation of markets has called for, among others, two complementary requirements: on the one hand, the need to develop policies that are able to attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) by a number of transition economies, in order to boost the economic growth of the countries concerned and reduce the technological and socio-economic gap that separates them from the industrialised economies; on the other, the priority choice for companies to promote internationalisation, that is now considered as a necessary step to safeguard their competitiveness.

In particular, the analysis carried out starts with the evolution of the Balkan market, by collecting and describing  the macroeconomic data concerning the four Western Balkans countries (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia), representing those economies that are likely to join the EU in the coming years following the process started (official candidacy or accession negotiations).

Thus, the first part of the present paper aims at describing and analysing the operational and strategic behaviour of Italian companies, as well as their process of internationalisation in the abovementioned economies.

The analysis was carried out through submitting a questionnaire to managers and employees of companies operating in the Balkans; the results highlighted the main areas of the companies’ international management decision-making process (internationalisation decision, operating methods adopted and the results achieved).

Afterwards, the second part of the research sets the focus on the attractiveness degree reached in the area, following the reforms made by local governments that helped in improving the business climate, leading many Italian investors to operate in that area.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.