Vicenza's Economy

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Vicenza's economy is characterized by a large variety, a considerable internal energy and marked peculiarities which have made it possible to call up the image of the so-called "Veneto model".

This expression is frequently used to indicate an industrial scene composed prevalently of small and medium-sized companies "distributed widely over the territory but not scattered, which harmonize well with what is defined as a polycentered territorial layout".
The manufacturing scene in Vicenza is formed largely of small companies, 65% of which have been founded recently; however there is no lack of large companies, of national and international importance, with a tradition worthy of the greatest respect.

Vicenza's industries can boast an overall sales figure of about 20 thousand billion lire, yearly export figures of about 6 thousand billion, a total of 115 thousand employees and an unemployment level of only 5%, considered normal. These results have been obtained thanks to the flexibility, open attitude to technological innovation and great disposition towards foreign markets of Vicenza's industries which contribute over 60% of the commercial balance of the Veneto, always a positive one.

The vocation for export of Vicenza's manufacturers is one of the decisive factors in this development; about three thousand companies are habitual exporters and alone contribute 1/3 of the region's export total, thus leading the Veneto classification.
With a 4% share of the total national export figures, Vicenza is one of the leading provinces in Italy.

To further exploit and strengthen these positions, the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Industrialists (founded in 1945 and to which belong 1920 companies with a total of over 80,000 employees) have favoured the constitution of a consortium of Vicenza industries called "Vicenza Export" which works to encourage the development of the export market. The open attitude to international markets and the variety and specialization of the production departments have enabled Vicenza's economy to be present in all industrial sectors. Of these the four most important sectors are the following:

-  the  metal-working industry, keystone of  the  province's
economy  and  occupying  the  greatest  number  of  workers,
characterized  by  the  great  variety  of  items  produced:
machine tools, general mechanical items,  electro-mechanical
and  electronic  goods,  metal  structural  work  and   iron
metallurgy.   In the last of these the  Beltrame  Steelworks
are the most distinguished for the importance of the foreign
markets on which they operate.

- the textile industry, which boasts a long tradition having
been  present  in  the Vicenza area  since  the  early  19th
century,  today  includes a number of leading  companies  at
international   level.   In  fact,  the   Marzotto-Lanerossi
textile group is the largest in Europe in this sector.
The  textile  industry  is  integrated  with  the   clothing
industry,  with  companies  specializing  in  all  kinds  of
production which are particularly active on foreign markets;

- the  gold-working  industry,  composed  of   about   800
companies, strongly inclined to the export market and making
a  decisive  contribution to Vicenza's  commercial  balance.
The  three  international exhibitions held every  year  make
Vicenza the capital of goldsmithry;

- the tanning industry, with a high degree of specialization
and  a great variety of products ranging from shoes  to  all
kinds of leather goods.

The present economic system is the result of the productive mentality and inborn hard-working nature of the people of Vicenza which pushes them "to set up business on their own", founding companies that are initially family-run .

This urge to become businessmen shows no signs of wearing out, indeed thanks to the careful policy followed by the Association of Small and Medium-sized Industries, there is an increasing number of companies being founded, aimed at satisfying new needs, especially in the services sector.

Alongside the industrial system, handicrafts also play an important role with 24 thousand companies, marked by a high degree of dynamism, about 70 thousand operators and as many as 300 different trades, from the most traditional to those with a high technological content.

The extensive diffusion of handicrafts in the territory has helped to keep unemployment figures low, especially among the young, and to limit the numbers of commuters, but above all it keeps alive and develops the entrepreneur mentality.

The manufacturing sectors in which handicrafts make their greatest contribution are the metal-working industry, wood- working and furniture, shoes and clothing, goldsmithry and ceramics.

The Association of Craftsmen is especially dedicated to combining the diffusion of technological innovations with the ability to maintain the traditional content of their trade, making an effort to encourage the relationship between master craftsman and apprentice, which is fundamental for fostering creativity.

Vicenza's exceptional economic development originated forty years ago with an economy strictly bound to the agricultural world, without traumatic breaks or social upheavals.
Since then the workers engaged in the primary sector have fallen from 60% of the active population to the present 6%, without in any way reducing the production rate. Indeed, from the point of view of farming, with as many as 40 thousand farms covering 200 thousand hectares, the province of Vicenza is one of the most interesting, thanks to the technological improvements that have been made in agriculture and in the link with the food industry.

Low-income crops have been abandoned in favour of sowable crops (maize and soya) and vineyards (quality grapes).

Dairy produce is especially distinguished, with typical products such as Asiago d.o.c. cheese; the rearing of dairy and beef cattle prevails in the south of the province , while the wine-producing sector, with the three areas of controlled origin, Berici Hills, Gambellara and Breganze, offers an interesting variety of products.

This complex economic system is supported by the commercial distribution system with over two thousand wholesale operators, 12 thousand retailers and more than 2 thousand travelling stall-keepers.
The Association of Tradesmen has pursued a successful policy and made careful decisions to ensure that a high number of retailers still survive alongside the large shopping complexes. The good trend of the economy in the Vicenza area is certainly reflected in the positive trends of credit with an annual increase of investments of 15%, higher than the national average, and a yearly increase in deposits of over 10%.
The energy of its entrepreneurs and the affluence of the area have attracted all the major Italian banks to Vicenza.

The promotional activities and the events organized by the Vicenza Trade Fair, which attract tens of thousands of visitors and economic operators from all over the world, bear witness to the complex and many-sided vitality of Vicenza's economy.

The promotion carried out on all the major world markets, the three goldsmithry reviews and the numerous other specialized reviews inter-rest the requirements of the various categories of entrepreneurs, engaged in strengthening the position of Vicenza's products abroad.

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