Clusters, Services - World Economy


Cluster is, as we noted earlier, a form of organization of economic activity of a group of interdependent enterprises operating within the framework of a definite and unified development program in a limited territory. Small (and medium) entrepreneurship forms the basis of industrial districts (clusters) - typical for the North and the Center of Italy territorial production complexes. They function on the basis of a regional division of labor and cooperation in the sectors of production, which simultaneously constitute the international specialization of Italy. In the districts where there are about 200 complexes, almost 45% of those employed in industry are concentrated; they account for more than 40% of national exports. Many counties send abroad from 1/3 to 2/3 of products, and some even more. For example, the Prato district (85 thousand enterprises with 45 thousand employees) exports 65% of its production of textiles and ready-made garments; enterprises of this district provide 10-11% of national exports. According to these two articles of trade, the district of Montebelluna (410 enterprises with 8.8 thousand employees) exports 73% of its production of sports shoes. The active role of small and medium-sized enterprises in promoting national products to foreign markets is a feature of the Italian economy. There are also counties specializing in tourism, of which there are about 300 units. They are located around the traditional large cities of Italy, which have long attracted tourists from all over the world, evenly throughout the country (as almost all settlements are monuments of history and culture, many of which date back to the era of the great Roman Empire).

In the districts, due to the concentration of technical experience, information, personnel, financial resources (local savings and small banks) and production capacities, an increasing process of renewal and diversification of products in small enterprises is under way. According to a study commissioned by the EU, Italy was leading in terms of the intensity of this process (new products accounted for 13.5% of annual sales turnover versus 6.5% on average for the EU). Thanks to the specifics of its innovative model, Italy managed to maintain the status of a global supplier of not only many types of consumer products, but also modern industrial equipment of medium technological level.

Service Scope

For Italy is characterized by a highly developed sphere of services. In the branch structure of the service sector, the article "trade, craft and supply of household goods" is the first place. The contribution of the sector to BBII is 14.0%, the share in total employment is 15%. On the share of trade (wholesale, commission, retail) in 2003-2009. accounted for 37% of the total number of employees in the service sector, 55% of the turnover of this sector and 1/3 of the value added. The ratio of wholesale (together with commission) and retail sales in terms of sales was 1.5: 1. In this case, the predominant enterprises of the traditional, "family" or individual type, specialized in the sale of a certain type of goods. On average, there are eight specialized outlets and 0.04 unspecialized outlets per thousand people. The average number of employees at the retail business is 2.4 people. In the years 2007-2009, in the country there were about 7 thousand supermarkets and more than 300 hypermarkets. Italy is one of the leading countries of international tourism (fourth place). Revenues from tourism in 2008 amounted to 12.5 billion euros, but in 2009, the activity of this industry has greatly decreased, incomes did not exceed 10 billion euros. Internal tourism is also well developed: in 2007, by the number of overnight stays of collective resident tourists per 100 thousand of population, Italy was far ahead of the EU average (340 and 300, respectively). In general, the service sector accounts for about 70% of GDP. The upward trend in the sphere of services has become noticeable since the spring of 2010, especially due to the influx of foreign tourists.

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