Recent Trends in Industrial Policy and Southern Italy: an Overview
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This paper investigates the main trends, goals and tools of the industrial policy carried out in Italy in recent years, with particular attention to its aspects in Southern regions. The first section highlights the latest positions in business promotion policies in some of the major advanced countries and the guidelines that have been developed in Europe at Community level. After recalling the main dynamics of the southern industrial sector, in comparison with the Centre-North Italy (section 2), the following section assesses trends in incentives granted and allocated to businesses (section 3). Section 4 analyses the new programmatic framework that is being outlined, whose main novel elements are «Industry 4.0» for national policies and «Smart specialization strategies» for regional industrial policy. The final section is based on the reasons why the overall industrial policy framework, that has just been completed, has not been a «real» industrial policy strategy yet, in the authors' view. It is recognized above all the need for a firm strengthening of the national component of industrial policy, whose action is particularly weak in Southern Italy, thus condemning regional industrial policy to being perpetually substituted.