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意大利中小企业受到冠状病毒大流行的沉重打击

2020-11-25 15:24

 

2020年10月26日,意大利罗马的Campo dei Fiori餐厅关闭。(新华社/程婷婷)


无论以何种标准衡量,这一流行病都是意大利自二战以来面临的最大危机。迄今为止,该国已有5万多人丧生,自疫情开始以来,病例总数已接近150万。


罗马,11月24日(新华社)——据分析人士称,在意大利经济中占很大比重的中小企业也受到了冠状病毒大流行造成的经济损失的冲击。


意大利的中小企业——定义为实体,雇员人数不到250人,少于5000万欧元(5900万美元)的收入,占每年总资产负债表和价值低于4300万欧元,代表意大利经济的更大份额比在欧盟(EU)作为一个整体。根据欧盟委员会(European Commission)的数据,这些被称为中小企业的企业提供了意大利78%多一点的就业机会,而在欧盟,这一比例不到67%。


“在意大利,中小型企业是经济的支柱,”Competere智库成员、COVID-19后经济重建观察组织协调员Giuseppe Arleo说。“在冠状病毒爆发的影响下,整个经济都在挣扎,但这些中小企业的困境甚至比整个经济还要严重。”


中小企业协会总经理Stefano Valvason认为,中小企业在经济中发挥如此重要的作用通常是一种优势。

 

Valvason在接受新华社采访时表示:“较小的公司更灵活,能够更快地对变化的市场情况作出反应,他们可以根据特定的市场或地理区域调整业务。”“但危机时期会暴露出这些公司的弱点,这就是现在正在发生的事情。”


无论以何种标准衡量,这一流行病都是意大利自二战以来面临的最大危机。迄今为止,该国已有5万多人丧生,自疫情开始以来,病例总数已接近150万。


自3月初以来,意大利一直处于某种程度的冠状病毒卫生限制之下,这导致该国经济急剧下滑。根据国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund)的最新估计,今年年底,中国的经济规模预计将比年初下降10.6%。


Valvason表示,这些趋势正在对意大利中小企业造成影响。


“目前的形势正在惩罚中小企业,”他表示。“这些公司没有大公司拥有的规模经济。他们无法获得同样的信贷。像这样的危机带来的挑战更大,因为中小企业对供应链或产品上市方式的任何变化都更敏感。”

 

Valvason和Arleo都对新华社表示,政府可以在帮助中小企业更好地度过疫情方面做得更多。


“到目前为止,政府的救援工作主要集中在帮助个人而不是企业,”Arleo说。他说:“他们可以将部分帮助转移到中小企业,因为这些企业是就业人口的主要来源。但这本身还不够。”


Arleo继续说道:“早在大流行之前,意大利经济就需要改革了。”“整个系统需要提高效率,这样一来,提供的帮助就会更有效。”


Valvason说,风险很高。他说:“如果不采取措施,意大利多达五分之一的中小企业可能面临倒闭的风险。”(1欧元= 1.19美元)

 

Restaurants are closed at Campo dei Fiori in Rome, Italy, Oct. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

By almost any measure, the pandemic is the biggest crisis Italy has faced since World War II. It has so far claimed more than 50,000 lives in the country, and the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is now approaching 1.5 million.

ROME, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The small- and medium-sized companies that make up the bulk of the Italian economy are also taking the brunt of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to analysts.

Italy's small- and medium-sized companies -- defined as entities with fewer than 250 employees, less than 50 million euros (59 million U.S. dollars) in revenue, and a total annual balance sheet worth less than 43 million euros -- represent a bigger share of Italy's economy than they do in the European Union (EU) as a whole. Known as SMEs, the companies provide a little over 78 percent of the jobs in Italy, compared to less than 67 percent in the EU, according to data from the European Commission.

"In Italy, the small- and medium-sized companies are the backbone of the economy," said Giuseppe Arleo, coordinator of the Observatory for Economic Reconstruction After COVID-19, part of the Competere think tank. "The entire economy is struggling under the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, but these same small- and medium-sized companies are struggling even more than the economy as a whole."

According to Stefano Valvason, general manager of the Small and Medium Industries Association, the fact that SMEs play such an important role in the economy is usually an advantage.

A woman shops at a butcher shop at Campo dei Fiori in Rome, Italy, Oct. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

"A smaller company is more nimble, able to react to changing market conditions faster, and they can tailor their business to a specific market niche or geographic area," Valvason told Xinhua. "But times of crisis can expose the weaknesses of these companies and that is what is happening now."

By almost any measure, the pandemic is the biggest crisis Italy has faced since World War II. It has so far claimed more than 50,000 lives in the country, and the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is now approaching 1.5 million.

Italy has consistently been under some degree of coronavirus health restrictions since early March, something that has sent the economy into a nosedive. According to the latest estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the country's economy is expected to end the year 10.6 percent smaller than it was at the start.

Valvason said those trends are taking their toll on Italy's SMEs.

"The current situation is punishing SMEs," he said. "These companies don't have the economies of scale that larger companies have. They don't have the same access to credit. The challenges of a crisis like this one are bigger because SMEs are more sensitive to any changes in their supply chain or in the way they get their products to market."

Restaurant staff wait for customers in Rome, Italy, Aug. 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

Valvason and Arleo both told Xinhua that the government could do more to help SMEs ride out the pandemic better.

"So far the government's relief effort has been focused on helping individuals rather than businesses," Arleo said. "They could shift some of the help to small- and medium-sized businesses since that is where the majority of the workforce is employed. But that in itself will not be enough."

Arleo went on: "The Italian economy was in need of reform even before the pandemic," he said. "The whole system needs to be more efficient so that help that comes can be more effective."

Valvason said the stakes are high. "If something isn't done, as many as one out of every five SMEs in Italy could be at risk of going out of business," he said. (1 euro = 1.19 U.S. dollars)

A restaurant is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic in Naples, Italy, Nov. 22, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)

 

来自: xinhua