Good fundamentals, the challenge is on flexibility and markets

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«I am optimistic, despite the slowdown in domestic and foreign demand, the decline in orders and investments, the stop in industrial production and the worsening climate of confidence. What underpins my optimism is the fact that this situation is the result of a specific choice by the ECB to cool the economy by raising interest rates. If rates drop, and I hope it happens as quickly as possible, this region will start again immediately, because the fundamentals are healthy.” Annalisa Sassi, president of Confindustria Emilia-Romagna, does not point the finger at anyone and does not ask for policy changes, but issues a warning to businesses: «The challenge today is to be more flexible and capable of adapting to the processes of change underway , because the markets are increasingly complex and uncertain and we must grasp the changing needs, aware that we are on the right trajectory. Let’s not confuse the short-term horizon with the long-term scenario.”

Annalisa Sassi. President of Confindustria Emilia-Romagna

And it is in the long run that the Region need not fear for its GDP – expected this year at +0.7% and +0.6% in 2024 – because there are positive signs in the new year for exports, the driving force of industrial districts (Emilia-Romagna has an internationalization rate double the national average) and because investments in specialist and technical training, Confindustria’s workhorse to support companies in the 5.0 and green transition, are already starting to show first fruits. «The comparison with other Italian regions rewards us – recalls Sassi – even if we have to improve to reach the main European manufacturing regions: the number of NEETs, young people who do not study or work, has fallen here in two years from 19.1 % at 12.2%, the skills mismatch remains high but both universities and ITS are quickly changing their offerings to respond to the market.”

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