An industrial district represents a cluster of interconnected companies, mainly SMEs, operating in a small geographical area. Industrial districts are a phenomenon of Italy. Specifically, Italy has found in this organisational model a peculiar trait of its economy and a relevant source of socioeconomic development and growth. In Italy there are more than 200 industrial districts, mainly in textile, fashion and in furniture industries.
Intesa Sanpaolo‘s economic forecast for 2015 confirms a growing business dynamism of Italian industrial districts. Between 2008 and 2014 companies operating within the industrial districts have showed an average revenue increase that is five per cent higher than that of those companies operating outside industrial districts.
Intesa Sanpaolo has drawn up a ranking based on growth and turnover, identifying the top fifteen performing industrial districts. The production and supply chain of all industries feature within this ranking and of those there’s a high percentage within fashion (six districts) and agribusiness (five districts).
The top performing industrial district is the area of Sebino Bergamasco, Northern Italy, specialising in the production of rubber. There is little difference between the second and fourth top performing districts. Two of these districts are where agribusiness industries flourished (Chianti wines in Tuscany and coffee, confectionery and chocolate products from the area around Turin). The other district is the area of Belluno (Northern Italy), specialised in the production of eyewear. The following four districts are all in the fashion industry, namely: San Mauro Pascoli (footwear), Arzignano (tannery), Arezzo (leather goods and footwear) and Neaples (footwear).
Among the top performing industrial districts there are: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (Prosecco wine), the area around Verona (Wine), Alba and Cuneo (chocolate), Florence (leather goods and footwear), Parma (food machinery), Bologna (packaging machines) and Carrara (marble).
According to Intesa Sanpaolo, during the period 2015-16, companies operating within industrial districts will speed up their rate of growth. On average, turnover is expected to increase by 3.1 per cent in 2015 and 3.2 per cent in 2016. Towards the end of 2015, it is expected that turnover will exceed that of 2008, balancing out the negative gap accumulated in the four-year period 2008-2012.
Looking at the entire Italian manufacturing sector, Intesa Sanpaolo do not foresee a full recovery until 2018.
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