12. The Treviso system at a glance

In the last two articles for the section ‘Invest in Treviso’ we have been concerned with summarising the strengths of the Treviso economy and updating the context data dating back to a few years ago when the economic context in which the attractiveness of the Treviso System was outlined. These interventions were useful to present in a synthetic way (and therefore more directly perceivable by the external operator) the reasons of attractiveness of the provincial economy and to provide updated data as much as possible.

Now, before definitively closing this general part, it is opportune to make a further summary presentation, both to further characterise to operators who are not familiar with the area’s economy the real potential of the area, and to build a qualitative and schematic synoptic picture of the reasons for attraction.

Obviously, this summary does not mention the current crisis because the prospect of the investment is the return in the medium – long term and also because, given the globalisation of the crisis itself and the fact that it seems less evident in our province, the conditions exist for it to be overcome in a fairly short time, at least for the most dynamic and internationalisation-oriented sectors.

In any case, a specific article will be written at a later date to indicate the main effects of the financial crisis on the province’s real economy. In addition, it is already announced that the column will continue with in-depth reports especially on the most significant units and excellences in the area.


On the basis of the strengths already identified and with some further clarifications, it is possible to build a model of excellence of the Treviso System, i.e. a model that briefly but effectively illustrates the driving factors of development in the province of Treviso that constitute the excellences to be imitated and disseminated. Such a model, even if eminently qualitative, is useful for an overall assessment of strengths by external operators and for their subsequent orientation on the attractiveness of the territory and on the factors of excellence which may provide them with some advantage.

The model at the end of the article can be interpreted as follows.

The fundamental excellence aspect from which the virtuous circle of the local economy starts is given by the very high export propensity of the province of Treviso. The corrected export/GDP indicator shows for our economy a value higher than the Veneto average, which is the first region in Italy and second only to the province of Vicenza. This situation of excellence based on internationalisation represents the essential driver of territorial economic development in a country like Italy where international openness has been present for some time but not at satisfactory levels.

In fact, the propensity to export involves two other important aspects of the territorial economy

– the competitiveness of our manufacturing system, able to win competition in international markets in terms of quality/price and also to enter new, relatively protected markets;

– the ability to win market shares of world demand, thus expanding its ‘business’ and counting on the continuous expansion of this demand by virtue of the development of emerging countries, albeit with different and oscillating growth rates.

These two interlinked advantages reinforce the thesis that the outlook for the Treviso economy can be considered favourable in the medium to long term, beyond the current global economic crisis. But competitiveness and the correlated attraction of demand depend, within the diversified local production system, above all on the behaviour-guidance of the medium-sized enterprise. In this

1 territory, in fact, in the absence of very large enterprises and in the presence of an almost total number of small and micro-enterprises, the number and operativity of medium-sized enterprises prevails more than elsewhere, capable of internationalising like large enterprises and giving rise to the well-known phenomenon of ‘pocket-sized multinationals’, while suffering less from the significant organisational difficulties of large groups. In this way, high productivity and profitability is achieved at company level for the best quantity/price combination, taking into account the large potential demand that arises internationally.

However, medium-sized enterprises are organised in groups and supply chains and sometimes even lead substantial fractions of industrial districts. Therefore, the excellence and competitiveness of medium-sized enterprises also reverberate on these aggregates of companies, producing the advantages mentioned above on these systems as well.

Finally, this virtuous model produces its positive effects in terms of the attractiveness (from outside) of the most relevant production factors. In particular, there is a considerable attraction of human resources, not only of non-EU labour, but also of foreign entrepreneurs and technicians or from other parts of Italy. The credit resources made available by the banking system are also not indifferent, as loans significantly exceed deposits. Financial resources in terms of venture capital, traditionally scarce, have been showing considerable dynamic in recent years, especially in terms of foreign direct investments entering the province.

Still on the subject of attractiveness, one cannot overlook the exchanges and relations woven by the Treviso system with the rest of the world, not only in terms of market relations, but also in terms of productive and financial cooperation.

All this can be summarised on an individual level with the already mentioned second place of Treviso in Italy, surveyed by ‘Il Sole – 24Ore’ with a concise index of personal happiness.

Obviously, this model of excellence does not succeed in involving the entire provincial community, but only a part of the activities and population linked to the situations mentioned above. Therefore, the crucial weakness for the Treviso economy consists precisely in the difficulty of expanding its model of excellence to the remaining part of the production system and in particular to public and private services and the domestic market.

Renato Chahinian