The Economy of Modena and Reggio Emilia:
local character, global outreach
Famous throughout the world as the birthplace of Ferrari and Maserati and the home of bel canto, Modena is the capital of one of the most advanced provinces in Europe. It hosts 20,000 manufacturing firms and 30,000 trade and services businesses. Exports of goods from the province total more than 7 billion Euros per year and reach over 180 countries.
Local firms manufacture an incredibly wide range of products. Particularly significant is machinery, including farm machinery and earth-moving equipment, automated industrial equipment, geared motors, precision components, pumps and valves. The Ferrari factory, employing 2,000 people, is based in Maranello, only a few kilometres away from Modena.
Industrial districts are scattered all around the province and are supported by a consolidated network of services and infrastructures. Sassuolo is the center of the world-renowned district of tile manufacturing, which accounts for 80% of Italy's entire tile production. One of the world's most important districts for knitwear and textiles is around the town of Carpi, while Mirandola is becoming one the leading European centers for the production of biomedical equipment.
Agriculture and farming are the other important sectors of Modena's local economy. Balsamic vinegar is a world famous local speciality.
Reggio Emilia is one of the most prosperous economic areas of the country and is noted for its high standard of living and per capita income, which have always contributed to its excellent quality of life and social cohesion. The city and its surrounding territory enjoy a high level of employment, thanks to a network of small and medium-sized firms, which guarantee an excellent employment rate for graduates of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
The sectors of Mechanics, Food and Agriculture (with products like the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, one of the gastronomical trademarks of the territory) represent a longstanding tradition and are world-renowned. In addition, more than 200 firms make up the "Mechatronic District", the crowning glory of this province. The manufacturing industry is at the heart of the local economy, despite recent changes and the Globalization process.
Reggio Emilia has also seen a progressive growth of activities connected to media and the arts (from design to dance, from the performing arts to communication, and from advertising to music), The talented people and companies operating in the sector enjoy widespread public attention. The city's framework is becoming increasingly one of a "creative district" specialized in the new media, as witnessed by the city's participation in the Urbact European Project on "Creative Clusters in Low Density Urban Areas".