The ICT sector in Italy is dominated by large multinationals with a number of SMEs which operate alongside them. In 2007, the IT and telecommunications sectors were estimated to be worth a total ICT volume of 64,700 million euros, a rise of 1.3% on the previous year (63,844 million euros in 2006).
Italian exports in the electronics and information science & technology sectors have increased steadily, and in the period running from January to December 2006, exports generally were up by 7.73% on the previous year. Most exports are sent to the EU25 countries (especially France, Germany and Spain) with a 5.66% increase in 2006 on the previous year. Exports to Central-Eastern Europe underwent the highest increase when compared to the previous year (26.73%), followed by Central Asia (20.79%), East Asia (12.57%) and other African countries (12.03%). Italian imports are constantly increasing, with imports from Central-Eastern Europe rising by 32.71% and Central Asia by 58.73%.
In 2006, sectors with the highest performance and biggest trade volume in terms of exports included wiring and insulating cables (up 41.16% on 2005), optical instruments and information technology equipment (up 13.58% on 2005), equipment for the distribution and control of electricity (up 13.8% on 2005).
The Etna Valley represents Sicily's principal high-tech zone. The high-tech valley comprises industrial buildings located in the Catania hinterland which specialize in the electronics, microelectronics, software and new technology sectors.
The largest businesses in the area are ST Microelettronics, an industrial giant which holds 4% of the world semiconductors market, and several other multinationals. The Province of Catania exported goods worth a total value of 926 million euros in 2005, mostly to Europe (86.8%). The electrical machinery sector is at the top of the exported goods market and represents 50% of total exports. Chemical products come in at second place with 23.6%.
The trade of imported goods, mostly from Europe (70.3%) and from America (14.4%), is calculated to be worth 742 million euros.