14 December 2023




Patuelli (ABI): the yachting industry is one of excellence; it has never suffered credit problems, but rather the pressure of taxation swollen beyond proportion and excessive red tape: the lives of citizens must be made easier, not burdened with overly complicated procedures.

Loiero (Economic Advisor to the Italian Government): we appreciate the proposal made by the Italian Marine Industry Association for a conference of ministries to replace all the acts of assent between ministers in order to streamline the adoption of implementing legislative decrees.

Cecchi (Italian Marine Industry Association): the future of the yachting industry on a global scale is being written by Italy, an industry which, unlike all the other sectors that make up the Sea Cluster, holds 51% of the global market for the construction of yachting units and is the world leader in accessories and inflatable boats. Protecting our production segment and responding quickly means growing the entire supply chain in a responsible manner. The Regulations implementing the Italian Nautical Code must be adopted as rapidly as possible.

Musumeci (Ministry for Marine Policy): I will be happy to invite the Italian Marine Industry Association on a permanent basis at the next round table held by Cipom experts aimed at updating the country’s Sea Plan.

The General Assembly of Italian Marine Industry Association Members was held today at the headquarters of the Italian Banking Association ABI. Coming to the close of a year full of achievements and records, the world’s leading yachting industry and its supply chain took the opportunity to debate with economic, political, and government institutions on today’s most topical economic and regulatory issues, concerning not just the industry in and of itself.

2022 was a record year for the yachting industry. Italy has seen its absolute world leadership in superyachts confirmed, with 51% of the Global Order Book produced in Italy, a historical record in shipbuilding production (€7.4 billion), the achievement of becoming the number one global exporter (€3.7 billion), and a growth rate of the supply chain that has seen it exceed 200,000 employees, never once veering from its positive trend since 2016.

The General Assembly was also an opportunity to present the results of the forecast survey carried out on the sector’s performance, conducted on a significant sample of member companies. In analysing the preliminary results for the calendar year of 2023, turnover growth compared to 2022 proves to significantly prevalent among companies, with indicators that point to a decidedly positive closure for the Italian yachting industry as a whole: 78% of the sample expects an improvement or a closure in line with the previous year.

In relation to sentiment regarding the 2023/2024 nautical year, one in every two companies in the production sector has indicated they have experienced an increase in turnover. In general, the situation confirms the qualitative indications that emerged during the autumn boat shows, with a growing differentiation in turnover trends between top-of-the-range production, which continues to grow at a more moderate pace than in 2021-2022, and small boats, which are expecting a market contraction, largely determined by economic factors such as high inflation and rising interest rates.

The Italian Marine Industry Association’s hard line remains that of concrete results, far from strategies aimed solely at increasing communication initiatives and social media presence, but aimed at bringing to institutions the operational proposals needed to grow the supply chain responsibly, to protect and professionalise workers, and to create economic benefits for the community as a whole.

Following the Assembly’s private session, with the President’s Report on the state of implementation of the sector programme and the approval of the 2024 activity plan, the public segment was held in the afternoon with a talk entitled ‘Nautica: Industria, Politica, Economia’ (The Industry, Politics and Economy of the Yachting Sector). Following the opening address by the President of the Italian Marine Industry Association, Saverio Cecchi, the round table opened with a video interview with President of the Italian Banking Association Antonio Patuelli, with a focus on macroeconomic scenarios, followed by speeches by the Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Prof. Renato Loiero, economist and Vice President of the Edison Foundation Prof. Marco Fortis, Head of Economic Scenarios at Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Dr Simona Camerano, and Head of Structured Finance at BPER Banca Nicola Porcari.

The section devoted to politics and institutions saw speeches given by MPs from the Italian Chamber of Deputies: Ilaria Cavo, Vice President of the Commission for Productive Activities, Deborah Bergamini, Commission for Foreign and Community Affairs, and Gerolamo Cangiano, Commission for Transport. Speeches were also given by the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Edoardo Rixi, and the Minister for Civil Protection and Marine Policy, Nello Musumeci.

Saverio Cecchi (President of Confindustria Nautica):

The Genoa International Boat Show saw an unprecedented presence of the Italian Government, to whom I had reminded that, from just listening, we needed to move on to focusing and then to taking action. So today I would like to thank Minister Urso and Deputy Minister Rixi and their institutions for the first meaningful regulatory responses on the matters of training (title decree), transition (engine scrapping), and the market (boat navigation). And as we align ourselves in the direction of achieving concrete results, I would like to renew my request to Minister Musumeci to include a representative of the yachting industry in the panel of 10 experts that will be charged with updating the Italian Sea Plan, as in the list of names drawn up there were none to be seen, and yachting was given a marginal role in the sphere of Sea Tourism“.

I would like to recall the words of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: ‘it is not the yachting sector that should be thanking me for coming to the Genoa International Boat Show after 37 years since the last visit of the Prime Minister; it should be me thanking the industry, for producing resources that inevitably flow into the State’s funds allowing for resources that Italy can then spend.’ Having 50 years of historical memory of this sector I know that every 10-12 years someone comes along who wants to cash in on the yachting industry, failing to bring anything home, while actually doing serious damage to the sector. The last person to do this was Mario Monti, just 11 years ago. So, I ask that you all take great care when it comes to protecting our industry”.

Antonio Patuelli (ABI President):

I have always been a yachtsman and know the industry well. There is a lot of authority to be found in the yachting industry and we are keenly interested, not just for humanitarian and macro-economic reasons, in having a Mediterranean Sea in which peace prevails. The yachting industry is a sector of excellence, one that has never suffered from credit problems, but rather from tax pressure swollen beyond proportion, and from excessive red tape: the lives of citizens must be made easier and not burdened with overly complicated procedures“.

I consider the Budget Law for 2024 to be a transitional moment. It was good to solve the problems of debts arising from previous measures, but it is precisely from the Italian Marine Industry Association Members Assembly that I ask that we start planning – for the 2025 budget law – sources of support, including fiscal support, for investments and asset allocations. Setting out on a course of action of this kind would help boost international confidence in Italy’s recovery“.

Renato Loiero (Economic Advisor to the Italian Government): We appreciate the proposal put forward by the Italian Marine Industry Association of a conference of ministries to replace all the acts of assent between ministers in order to streamline the adoption of implementing legal provisions. The Government will present a report on the status of the PNRR (NRP) in a few days. In the budget law there are several resources for companies’ investment programmes. The PNRR is undoubtedly a complex machine, including eight new reforms, but it will contribute substantially to economic growth.

Marco Fortis (Vice President of the Edison Foundation): In the ranking of the goods for which Italy is the world’s top performer, the yachting industry takes sixth place. Today it is a top player along with ceramics and pasta. I don’t see any sign of a slowdown in Italy, the GDP of which is still doing better than other European countries and whose household spending has grown twice as fast as its GDP. Exports also continue to charge ahead; the slowdown was essentially caused by the end of the real estate construction bonus.

Simona Camerano (CDP Economic Scenarios Manager): The yachting industry, a sector of excellence for Made in Italy products, is one of the strategic sectors that CDP has identified as priorities for directing its resources and promoting projects with a high impact on the country’s sustainable growth and ensuring the positioning of Italy’s production system on international markets. This commitment is demonstrated by the financing dedicated to businesses and internationalisation, which reached EUR 7 billion in the first half of 2023, almost 200% more than in the previous year.

Ilaria Cavo (Vice-President of the Commission for Productive Activities): we are proud to have contributed to the inclusion of the ‘nautical package’ measures within the ‘Made in Italy’ Bill, which is the result of the Italian Marine Industry Association’s discussions with Minister Adolfo Urso, the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, and the measure’s rapporteurs Hon. Gusmeroli and Mr Giovine. The measures are aimed at supporting the sector, especially the small yachting sector, with a view to giving further impetus to the competitiveness of the entire yachting industry.

Deborah Bergamini (Commission for Foreign and Community Affairs): There is still work to do. For example, river and lake concessions have been left out and marinas should not be penalised. On the other hand, the Bolkestein initiative was written with a mare magnum in mind, and I do not use this term lightly. One of the fundamental principles of any European directive is the principle of reciprocity: but today this is far from the case with Italian entrepreneurs not able to access markets of other countries.

Gerolamo Cangiano (Transport Commission): The goal we achieved in Parliament with the new reform on SEZ (Special Economic Zones), was to include a new possibility for industry that wants to invest in southern Italy. This government has made a serious commitment to this sector.  We must shorten the approval time of the implementing decrees and adapt them to the needs of a strategic sector like that of yachting.

Edoardo Rixi (Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport): Today the important challenge is structural reforms on bureaucracy in order to reduce the approval times for implementing decrees. Cipom (the Interministerial Committee for Marine Policies) may represent an opportunity to reform the yachting sector since all the competent ministries will be at the table. We hope it will be a moment to iron out the creases of a sector that is of such fundamental importance to the country’s economy.

Nello Musumeci (Minister for Civil Protection and Marine Policy): With the Italian Marine Industry Association we have always enjoyed a collaborative relationship based on dialogue. This is why I invite President Cecchi to permanently sit at the table of experts on the Italian Sea Plan.

We must bring together infrastructure, finance, tourism, sport, the environment and fishing, all around the same table in order to find our common ground. The Sea Plan will not be the solution to every problem, but it is the first concrete step of a government convinced that the sea must be among the issues given highest priority on the agenda over the course of these five years.

The yachting industry is the calling card for all Marine Economies, but new berths are needed for the Italian coasts to become a pole of attraction in the Mediterranean. This is why we must work in synergy with the Regional authorities to create new marinas and expand existing facilities.

The private session of the Assembly approved the 2024 budget and reformed the Association’s Statute, adapting it to the regulatory framework of the General Confederation of Italian Industry System and the evolution of the Members’ representative activities, also through a more streamlined and incisive Presidency Council. “This is the Italian Marine Industry Association’s primary tool of supervision and protection, which we are constantly adapting to the evolution of the internal organisational context and to that of the System’s regulatory framework in order to develop dynamically alongside the positioning and development of our Association,” commented the Association’s General Manager, Marina Stella.

The Italian Marine Industry Association’s General Assembly also voted for the renewal of the Board of Auditors and Arbitrators. The following were elected to the Board of Arbitrators: Anton Francesco Albertoni – Chairman, Ferdinando Amerio, Francesca Lodigiani, Eugenio Massolo, Angelo Paone, Carlo Cameli. The Board of Auditors, on the other hand, is composed as follows: Roberto Marrani, Franco Vernassa, Ivano Gasco – Standing Auditors; Alternate Auditors: Enrico Martino and Riccardo Villa Gaggini.

Among the achievements of the Italian Marine Industry Association in 2023, the many internationalisation projects were cited, implemented in cooperation with the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Trade Agency, along with the presentation of the industry on the Milan Stock Exchange, and the expansion of activities of the Market Intelligence and Research Department, as it constantly measures the sector providing analyses and data interpretation to support the sustainable and efficient growth of the industry, the setting up of the Sustainability Committee and the organisation, alongside IBI, of the first two editions of the World Yachting Sustainability Forum, the repositioning of the Genoa International Boat Show at the centre of world media attention, testing the unmatched potential of the Waterfront di Levante redevelopment project, the training course for Italy’s Online Boating Platform, and various regulatory and tax-focused publications.

As far as regulatory initiatives are concerned, achievements include the Reform of Professional Titles (MIT), the establishment by 2024 of a fund dedicated to scrapping engines in view of purchasing electric options, the 7-day issuing of navigation licences for new units, the regulations in favour of yachting unit circulation also in foreign territorial waters (the MADE IN ITALY BILL), the Inland Revenue Agency Circular regarding the application of the Mezzogiorno Credit initiative to leased units.