With approximately 60 million native speakers, Italian is the fourth most widely spoken of Romance languages, after SpanishPortuguese and French.

The Italian economy is driven in a large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family owned. The north is developed and industrial, dominated by private companies; the south, with its beautiful shores and cultural heritage, is agricultural and counts on tourism.

Italy is also world famous for brands such as ArmaniGucciVersaceFerreroBarilla and many others. 58.3% of Italian exports in 2010 were to Europe. The top four European countries importing Italian goods are Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland. Eastern Asia is the third top geographical area for the number of Italian businesses, outnumbering North America by about 1,500 units.
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