A recent report prepared by Symbola Foundation and Unioncamere stands as a very innovative study. It is the first quantifying the weight of cultural activities in economic terms.
Creative and cultural industries represent a pillar of Made in Italy and surprisingly, during the crisis, exports related to this field had a 35% increase. Last year, culture-related activities mobilized 214 billion Euros, 15,3% of the total wealth produced.
Culture is here considered as an umbrella term, related to cultural industries (film, video, mass media, videogames, music, books and press); creative industries (architecture, communication, handcraft, archaeological sites); historical-artistic patrimony (museums, libraries, archives, monuments) and performing arts and visual arts (artistic performances, entertainment, conferences).
In spite of the general sponsorship fall in last years, funding for cultural activities has grown up to 159 billion Euros, rising 6.3% between 2012 and 2013. The same report has additionally emphasized the fact that companies involved in cultural activities produce 5,4% of global Italian wealth.
Furthermore, culture has a multiplying effect on economics, i.e. each Euro produced by cultural activities activates 1.67 in other sectors. These benefits are extended to occupation. In fact, cultural and creative industries provide jobs for 1,4 million people (5,8% of total employed individuals).
For all the above mentioned reasons, Ermete Realacci - president of Symbola Foundation - stated that "Culture is a new path for the future of Italy and it constitutes our competitive advantage" and events like VinItaly or Salone del Mobile are powerful evidences. Sharing the same view, Ferruccio Dardanello - president of Unioncamere - declared that Italy should believe more in its potential, in terms of territory, beauties and talent, which are all really appreciated abroad. On this subject, the commercial surplus grew up to 25,7 billion Euros in 2013.
As a result, the main step forward Italy should do to exploit its huge potential is to redefine a productive sector based on culture, creativity and handcraft.