Protection of Property: Italy is still behind. The risks could increase with the Belt and Road initiative Says experts

The International Property Rights Index 2019 (International Index on the Protection of Property Rights) is presented today in Manila. The study carried out by the Property Rights Alliance, measures how property is protected in over 129 countries and includes data covering 98 percent of world GDP and 93 percent of the population.

Italy is far from the other G7 countries and ranks in forty-sixth place overall, after Bahrain and Jordan, with a final score of 6.1 out of 10. The gap between Italy and the top-ranking member states is extensive. Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, which occupy the top spaces, all have a score above 8.5. The G7 countries on average achieved a score of 7.9.

The index consists of 3 main aspects, aside from overall score, concerning the "political and legal system", the "protection of physical rights" and the "protection of intellectual rights". Italy is inadequate in the first item, especially with regard to political stability, the efficiency of civil justice, and the high levels of perceived corruption. In the other two categories Italy is sufficient, but still comparatively low.

Despite the slight improvement from last year, new problems could arise with Italy’s entry into the Belt and Road Initiative, write experts from in the case study carried out for IPRI 2019. The ‘Made in Italy’ label, in fact, is penalized by the competition of unfair and counterfeit products, which mostly come from China and Hong Kong. In 2016 the loss suffered by Italian companies due to fake Made in Italy products was 24 billion euros or 3.2% of the total market. The opening of a new "Silk Road" could worsen this phenomenon, making Italy a point of transit for new counterfeit goods to Europe, thus damaging local businesses.

"Property rights - declared Pietro Paganini, President of - are a key indicator of economic success and political stability, and a fundamental component of innovation. It is no coincidence, that the top of this special index has for years been comprised of the most innovative countries, such as the Scandinavian countries, the United States, Singapore and Switzerland ”.

"Italy is once again distanced from other Western countries - states the Director of and author of the case study, Giacomo Bandini - with the entry into the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the risks for property right violations concerning the made in Italy label increase. Before continuing with the agreement, it is necessary to establish solid property protection standards with China and to agree on activities to combat counterfeiting, which causes 24 billion euros worth of losses for Italy and its companies ”.

To see the Executive Summary of the International Property Rights Index 2019 click here:

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