Home   >   CSC-OpenAccess Library   >    Manuscript Information
The Maghreb Area Development. Threats and Opportunities for Italian Companies’ Investment Strategies
Francesco Scalera
Pages - 64 - 83     |    Revised - 30-11-2019     |    Published - 31-12-2019
Volume - 10   Issue - 4    |    Publication Date - December 2019  Table of Contents
Maghreb Area, Gulf Countries, Strategies, Business Climate, SME.
The current highly competitive international scenario is characterised by increasingly keen players (Chinese in particular) gaining significant shares in the western markets, so as to induce companies in the most industrialised countries to invest in emerging areas (Maghreb for example), thus reducing management costs relating to raw materials, capital, energy, as well as labour, in order to preserve their competitiveness.

In particular, the choice of international operators, above all the Italian ones, seems to fall, on Morocco and Tunisia both for their geographical proximity and a better business climate compared to the neighbouring countries. However, following the Arab Spring, the Italian leadership and the main EU operators seem to have been challenged by the Gulf countries, that, through massive direct investments, have gained significant market shares in the area.

Thus, the research, moving from the current competitive scenario, intends to investigate, first of all, the reasons for the increased interest in the area by the Gulf Countries and the sectors they are investing in, to understand which are the best strategic choices to be adopted by Western companies (primarily Italian) in a rapidly changing competitive environment, even in the light of the political, social and operational choices made by local governments.

The analysis of macroeconomic data and the current business climate will highlight the fairness of the governmental choices implemented. Moreover, through a questionnaire submitted to the main Italian operators in the area, it will allow careful examination of their difficulties in doing business over the last five years.
CITED BY (1)  
1 Francesco, S. (2020). The Italian entrepreneurial crisis during COVID-19. Investments in Algeria as a possible international opportunity for the relaunch of our companies. International Journal of Business Management & Economic Research, 11(3).
1 Google Scholar 
2 refSeek 
3 Doc Player 
A. Ciccone and E. Papaioannou. "Red Tape and Delayed Entry", Journal of the European Economic Association, 5 (2-3): pp. 444-58, 2007.
A. Fischer and R. Reuber. ”The Influence of The Management Team’s International Experience on the Internationalisation Behaviours of Smes”, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 28, pp. 807-825, 1997.
A. Madhok. "Cost Value and Foreign Make Entry: the Transaction and the Firms", Strategic Management Journal, 18, pp. 39-61, 1997.
A. Marcati, P. De Luca and G. Galli. "Role and Strategies of Commercial Brockers in the Business Internationalization Process", Sinergie, no. 47, 1998.
A.H. Rehman. "Gulf Capital and Islamic Finance. The Rise of the New Global Players", New York: Mc Graw Hill, 2010, p. 241.
Agenzia Nova. "Energy: Algeria, Government Adopts New Law on Hydrocarbons". www.infomercatiesteri.it/highlights_dettagli.php?id_highlights=16036, Internet: July 10, 2019 [Dec. 07, 2019].
Agenzia Nova. "Tunisia: Investment Instance launches residence card for investors". www.infomercatiesteri.it/highlights_dettagli.php?id_highlights=16244, Fev. 12, 2019 [Dec. 06, 2019].
C. Dematté, F. Perretti and E. Marafioti. "Internationalisation Strategise", Milan: Egea, 2013.
C. Doidge, A. Karolyi and R.M. Stulz. "Why Do Countries Matter So Much for Corporate Governance?", Journal of Financial Economics, 86 (1): pp. 1-39, 2007.
C. Etrillard. "The Internationalisation of SMEs: a Retellling in Terms of Business Strategies", in 7th Entrepreuneurs and SMEs, International Francophone Conference, Paris, October, 2004.
C.A. Montgomery, B. Wernefelt. "The Link Between Resources and Type of Diversification: Theory and Evidence", Strategic Management Journal, vol. 12, pp. 33-48, 1991.
E. Penrose. "Theory of the Growth of the Firm", New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1959.
EIU. "Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report", August, 2017.
F.R. Root. "Entry Strategies for International Markets", Lexington, Lexington Books, II ed., 1994.
G. Albaum, J. Strandskov, E. Duerr and L. Dowd. "International Marketing and Export Management", Addison Wesley, II ed., 2005.
G. Bertoli and E. Valdani. "International Markets and Marketing", Milan: Egea, 2006.
G. Cuomo. "Distribution Channel"s, edited by Valdani E., Marketing, 5th vol. of The Business Encyclopaedia, Turin: Utet, 1995.
G. Gemser, M.J. Brand and A. Sorge. "Exploring the Internationalisation Process of Small Businesses: a Study of Dutch old and New Economy Firms", Management International Review, vol. 44 (2), pp. 127-150, 2004.
G. Invernizzi. "Business Strategy and Policy", Milan: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
G. Invernizzi. "Competitive Strategies", Milan: McGraw Hill Education, 2014.
H.G. Gankema, H.R. Snuif and P.S. Zwart. "The Internationalisation Process of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: an Evaluation of Stage Theory", Journal of Small Business Management, 38 (4), pp. 15-27, 2000.
J. Johanson and J.E. Vahlne. "The Internationalisation Process of the Firm: a Model Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments", Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 8, pp. 23-32, 1977.
J. Johanson and L.G. Mattson. "Internationalisation in Industrial Systems - A Network Approach, in Hood N., Vahlne, J. Eds., Strategies in Global Competition", New York, Crom Helm, pp. 287-314, 1988.
J. Knight. "Higher Education Quality and Internationalisation", Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, pp. 15-46, 1999.
J.A. Wolff and T.L. Pett. "Internationalisation of Small Firms: An Examination of Export Competitive Patterns. Firm Size and Export Performance", Journal Of Small Business Management, vol. 38, pp. 34-47, 2000.
J.H. Dunning. "The Eclectic Paradigm of International Production: a Restatement and Some Possible Extension", Journal of Small Business Studies, vol. 19, pp. 1-31, 1988.
J.L. Mucchielli. “Strategic Partnerships and Multinationals: a New Theory for New Forms of Multinationalisation”, Revue D'économie Industrielle, vol. 55, pp. 118-134, 1991.
K. Pfeifer. "Petrodollars at Work and in Play in the Post-September 11 Decade", in "Merip", vol. 41, p. 260, 2011.
L. Ferrucci. "Competitive Strategies and the Business Growth Process", Milan: Franco Angeli, 2000.
L.C. Leonidou and C.S. Katsikeas. "The Export Development Process: an Integrative Review of Empirical Models", Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 517-551, 1996.
M. Brown and C. Zehnder. "Credit Registries, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment", Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 39 (8): pp. 883-918, 2007.
M. Brown, T. Jappelli and M. Pagano. "Information Sharing and Credit: Firm-Level Evidence from Transition Countries"; Finance Working Paper 201, Brussels, European Corporate Governance Institute, 2008.
M. Monzer. "Oil and Development in the Arab World: a Chain of Revolutions”, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2011.
M. Porter. "Competition in Global Industries", Boston, Harvard Business School Press, 1986.
M. Porter. "The Competitive Advantage", Milan: Di Comunità Edizioni, IV Edition, 1993.
M.B. Ltaifa, W. Khoufi. "Book to Market and Size as Determinants of Stock Returns of Banks: An Empirical Investigation from MENA Countries", International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 142-16, 2016.
M.R. Ruzzier, D. Hisrich and B. Antoncic. "SME Internationalisation Research: Past, Present and Future", Journal of Small Business Enterprise Development, vol. 13, pp. 476-497, 2006.
Ministry of Economy and Finance. "Citizens Budget 2019". www.finances.gov.ma/Docs/db/2018/BC%20VFr%20LF%202019.pdf, Internet: 2019 [Dec. 07, 2019].
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Morocco. Results Monetary Policy Board of the Central Bank". www.infomercatiesteri.it/highlights_dettagli.php?id_highlights=16042, Oct. 08, 2019 [Dec. 06, 2019].
N. Di Cagno, S. Adamo and F. Giaccari. "Outlines of Business Economics", Bari: Cacucci Editore, II Edition, 2013.
N.E. Coviello and A. McAuley. "Internationalisation and the Small Firm, A Review of Contemporary Empirical Research", Management International Review, vol. 39, pp. 223-237, 1999.
O. Willamson. "Markets and Hierarchies", New York, NY., Free Press, 1975.
P. Kotler, L. Fahey and S. Jatusripitak. "The New Competition", Prentice Hall. 1985. (trad. It. Judo Marketing), Milan: Ipsoa, 1987.
P. McDougall and B.M. Oviatt. "International Entrepreneurship: the Intersection of Two Research Paths", Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 43, pp. 902-909, 2000.
P. Miolo Vitali. "The Corporate Decision-Making System", Turin: Giappichelli Editore, 1993.
P.A. Julien, P.Y. Léo, and J. Philippe. “SMEs and Big Markets”, Paris: L’ Harmattan, 1995.
P.J. Buckley and M. Casson. "The Economic Theory of Multinational Enterprise", St-Martins Press, New York, 1995.
P.P. McDougall and B.M. Oviatt. "Toward A Theory Of International New Ventures", Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 25, pp. 45-64, 1994.
R. Fiocca and S. Vicari. "Intercompany Coalitions to Implement Combined Business Strategies", edited by R. Fiocca, Businesses without Borders, Milan: Etas, 1997.
R. Hamaui and M. Mauri. "Islamic Economy and Finance", Bologna: il Mulino, 2009.
R. Vernon. "International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle", Journal of Economies, 1966.
S. Djankov, T. Ganser, C. McLiesh, R. Ramalho and A. Shleifer. "The Effect of Corporate Taxes on Investment and Entrepreneurship", NBER working paper 13756, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2008.
S. Mariotti and M. Mutinelli. "International Growth for SMEs", Milan: Il Sole 24Ore, 2003.
S. Reid. "The Decision-Maker and Export Entry and Expansion", Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 101-111, 1981.
S. Vaccà. "Science and Technology in the Business Economy", Milan: Franco Angeli, 1989.
S.P. Douglas, C.S. Craig, and W.J. Keegan. "Approaches to Assesing International Marketing Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Business", Columbia Journal of World Business, Fall, 1982.
S.T. Cavusgil. "On the Internationalisation Process of Firms", European Research, vol. 8, pp. 273-280, 1980.
T. Kuran. "The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East", Cambridge Mass, Princeton University Press, 2012.
V. Nanut. "The Role of Commercial Brockers in the SMEs Process of Internationalization and in the Development of International Trade", with the Contribution of Various Authors, Writings in Memory of Carlo Fabrizi, Padova: Vedam, 1995.
W. Bilkey and G. Tesar. "The Export Behaviour of Smaller Sized Wisconsin Manufacturing Firms", Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 8, pp. 93-98, 1977.
World Bank. "Economic Integration in the Mashreq, and Economic Integration in the Maghreb", Washington, October, 2010.
World Bank. "Speeding Recovery: Tertiary Education for Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa", p.26. 2008.
World Bank. "World Development Indicators", p. 52. 2003.
Mr. Francesco Scalera
Department Economic and Finance, University of Bari “Aldo Moro” Bari, 70122, Italy - Italy

View all special issues >>