Donnerstag, 18.07.2019 08:44 Uhr

Italy and digital economy

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 08.05.2019, 09:15 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Wirtschaft und Finanzen +++ Bericht 5010x gelesen

Rome [ENA] While the European Commission on 7th of may cut its GDP growth estimates for Italy to 0.9% for last year, 0.1% this year and 0.7% in 2020 and Premier Giuseppe Conte answered saying it was being "ungenerous”, making the single market fit for the digital age continues to be one of the ten crucial priorities for the Juncker Commission. For an export-led growth economy like Italy digital economy is a great opportunity

to deliver better economic outcomes for the young who cannot afford to leave and have to remain stuck in environments impoverished from an economic and social perspective like Southern Italy. It's estimated that EU consumers could save €11.7bn each year thanks to the lower prices and wider choice offered by online shopping, for example. Only 16% of consumers bought online from other EU countries in 2015, while 47% did so in their own country. 84% of online sales in 2014 came from the country in which the company was located. Improving online access to digital goods and services is consequently one of the three pillars of the Digital Single Market Strategy.

Till now, problems with digital economy have been over and over again identified with cross-border parcel delivery which includes high prices, low quality of service and lack of information. Actions to address them have already been suggested by the Commission both in the 2012 Green Paper and in the 2013 Roadmap, but some barriers persist and continue to be emphasized in many studies, including those carried out after the adoption of the Roadmap, in particular in the context of the Digital Single Market Strategy. E-retailers' associations have developed European Trustmarks for online shopping and devoted to improve information about delivery to e-retailers.

The Commission is examining implementation by industry and an assessment of progress shows that while measures implemented have had a limited positive impact on the availability and quality of cross-border offers, complementary measures are desirable in the areas of price transparency and enhanced regulatory control. The existing Impact Assessment then focuses on the analysis of these two areas. The European courier, express and parcel market (CEP market) is estimated to be worth between EUR 37 and EUR 53.5 billion. Business to Consumer (B2C) represents around 60% of volumes but around 30% of revenues and e-commerce has intensified the competition in the B2C delivery market.

The market has grown in recent years, with estimates ranging from a 3.2% to 5.7% increase in value and between 4.8% and 6% increase in volume. It remains very concentrated however, with five Member States with developed e-commerce markets accounting for 75% of the total EU Courier, Express, and Parcel market. Western countries account for 86% of the total EU parcel market volumes, southern countries account for 11% and eastern countries have a 3% share. Only a few operators have a Europe-wide (or worldwide) network so many operators need to partner with others for cross-border transactions. Domestic parcel markets account for roughly 70% of total revenues and approximately 90% of volume of the total parcel and express markets.

National Postal Operators account for about 20% of their domestic CEP market, with domestic competition within Europe coming mainly from parcel carriers established in several Member States, such as Hermes, DHL, GLS, GeoPost and TNT, as well as other local parcel providers. European international competition is mainly between UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx and Geopost, and of course NPOs. Many of these carriers are express carriers, who traditionally focussed on the B2B market. Others are focused on the less time-definite (deferred) market segment. According to La Poste (2014) B2B continues to account for the major share (70%) in relation to B2C in terms of value.

According to Copenhagen Economics (2013) however, in terms of volumes the picture is upturned: Business to Business shipments are responsible for nearly 30% of the total shipments in Europe when Business to Consumer volumes are about 60% of the total. To boost the digital economy in Italy, it’s crucial to set out actions to improve the quality, availability and affordability of cross-border parcel delivery services, and the transparency of information about the services on offer. Examples of industry-led action include National Postal Operators (NPOs) planned improvements to the quality of cross-border services including better tracing of shipments and increased interoperability.

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