Rome, November 29 - The number of Italian businesses controlled by foreign multinationals continues to rise, according to data released by national statistics institute ISTAT on Tuesday. There were 404 more in 2014 than the previous year, for a total of 13,569 enterprises. This is slightly over half the number of Italian enterprises abroad, which stood at 22,388. Foreign-controlled businesses in Italy employ 1.2 million people (7.6% of the overall total) and achieve a turnover of 524 billion euros. Those employing over 250 people are on average more productive and profitable than their Italian counterparts, though this depends on the sector. Foreign enterprises account for almost a quarter (23.9%) of total private spending on research and development. As for Italian businesses abroad, ISTAT reported that there were 384 more in 2014 than the previous year. In 2015-2016, 62.4% of Italy's major industrial multinationals brought in or planned new foreign-controlled investments. The countries seeing the highest increase in Italian multinationals were Brazil (+17,000 on the year), the US (+14,000) and China (+9,000), despite an increase in labor costs in Asia of between 600 and 8,500 euros per year.
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