The Piedmontese economy: the 5 areas of excellence from which to relaunch enterprise

The Focus Territori identifies 5 areas of excellence in the region, which could become a springboard for the post-Covid recovery if they are properly exploited.

Piedmont has the fifth largest regional economy, with a GDP of almost 140 billion euros in 2019, equal to 8% of the national total, and today is a region in transition. While remaining anchored to the growth path of Northern regions, for some time it seen a slowdown that has triggered a competitiveness deficit, meaning that even before the Covid emergency, it was far from the most dynamic region of the country.

The opportunities to come from the post-pandemic reconstruction of the Italian economy must position Piedmont as a leader of a development strategy that takes full advantage of historical specialisations and the consolidated skills of the productive fabric by linking them to the new global ecological, digital and sustainable transition growth trends.

This strategy must begin from its strengths, that is, the advantages it has over the most advanced Italian and European economic areas. From this perspective, the Piedmontese economy can leverage some niche areas to drive the relaunch of the region’s economic and social fabric. Specifically, the 5 identified excellences are: i) manufacturing 4.0; ii) green chemicals; iii) design and creative industries; iv) the freight terminal system; v) the metropolitan city of Turin.

The 5 identified excellences contribute to strengthening both more traditional manufacturing and productivity in the services sector. To fully exploit the region’s potential and ensure it catches up with the other northern regions, it will be necessary to act on certain enabling factors. Specifically, the main enablers are some parts of the physical and digital infrastructural system, on which the ability to reconnect the regions depends, exploiting their individual characteristics and seeking a new balance between the quality of the workforce and the needs of businesses, which are not currently adequate for a human capital among the most qualified in the country.

In relation to this latter point, local institutions have already begun on paths to spread and strengthen innovation in the entrepreneurial system and disseminate manufacturing 4.0. Continuing on this path could allow the recovery of a development path capable of restoring the region's ability to attract highly skilled labour and to encourage the setup of new businesses, seizing the opportunities offered by the new geography of global value chains.

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