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OECD Territorial Reviews: Bergamo, Italy

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Bergamo, Italy

This follow-up to the 2001 OECD Territorial Review of Bergamo monitors progress over the past 15 years and reassesses the main development challenges the region faces. Globalisation has intensified international competition in Bergamo’s traditional manufacturing sector, and the global financial crisis has exacerbated some of the structural weaknesses of Bergamo’s traditional industrial sectors. The region needs to upgrade production processes to generate more added value in economic activities to remain competitive. The review offers recommendations to help Bergamo transition to higher value-added and more technologically intensive activities. In particular, it calls for: a development plan supported by all local actors; a strategy for improving the skills of the adult population through education and training programmes; stimulating innovation systems; attracting foreign direct investment; and, finally, strategies for boosting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Bergamo's strong industrial sector

This chapter evaluates the economic performance of Bergamo to identify strengths and areas for improvement. The chapter has three sections. The first provides a diagnosis of the industrial sector, identifying the importance of the tradeable sector to the regional economy. The manufacturing sector has been particularly important to regional economic performance and has maintained its share of the economy whilst its composition is changing. The second section focuses on some key drivers of productivity for Bergamo’s industry and finds that greater investment in human capital and innovation is required to overcome stagnant productivity growth and declining competitiveness. Section three examines the process of internationalisation for industry in Bergamo. Although export performance is strong, further effort is required to attract foreign investment to shift from lower to higher technological activities.

English

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