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AREZZO’S GOLD SPECIALISES AT HOME
Italian fashion and its ancillary industries continue to be one of the strong points of Italy’s industrial and economic systems.
Designer labels and outfits of the highest quality, all rigorously manufactured in Italy, are not afraid of international competition.
This is also down to the contribution of niche products such as those from Arezzo's gold-working district. The age-old traditions of the master goldsmiths operating in and around Arezzo do not just represent a point of reference for a manufacturing Italy.
In a time of crisis Arezzo’s manufacturing experience offers itself as a model of governance for businesses in the areas of production, a structure that is typical in the organisation of Italian manufacturing.
A recent survey of the Italian sectors revealed that Arezzo's gold-working industries were among the leading industries more inclined to export, with a volume of foreign sales that in the third quarter of 2012 touched €413 million, an increase of 17.2% over the same period in 2011.
The only areas to do better than Arezzo were the leatherwear districts located in the same region and some networks of mechanical engineering businesses located in the area of Piacenza.
Hence, another international connection that begins with Italian fashion: if, on the one hand, the crisis has caused some of the major manufacturing sectors such as clothing to slow down, on the other, Arezzo’s gold sector, aided also by the increase in the prices of raw materials, has improved its performance, exceeding all the expectations of the market players.
The reference is primarily to the international business indicators, given that Italian gold, according to the figures, excels more abroad than it does on the Italian markets. This year too Tuscany's network of gold-workers has reached out to the international markets with “OroArezzo 2013”, the sector event that is now at its 34th edition.
As Raul Barbieri, the director of Arezzo Fiere e Congressi, emphasises: “We have worked hard in recent years to support the Italian gold industry in the processes required for opening up to international markets. OroArezzo has put together some effective selections of international import-export trade, paying particular attention to the established markets but without overlooking the emerging ones. It’s an occasion for international buyers to focus their attention on a totally Italian offer which, and let’s not forget this, still excels in terms of quality, style and design.”
A success that sets its sights on opening up to foreign trade and to innovations, even if the manufacturers are keen to remind us that the tradition in the Arezzo basin can be traced back to the 1960s and 70s.
It was precisely during that time that the age-old art of transforming the ‘noble’ metal began to establish itself in Tuscany. Since then the gold-worker's culture has continued to expand briskly and has extended its boundaries so that at the end of 2012 the number of businesses approached more than 1100 which, on their own, account for more than 50% of the economy of the province of Arezzo.
The working of silver also soon arrived in the gold worker’s district and is carried out predominantly by 24% of the trading businesses, only 70% work with gold whilst the remaining 6% work both metals.
The double thread that links gold and fashion has led manufacturers to create a structure that joins the two manufacturing sectors and that also acts as the control room for research activities and the economic monitoring of the different sectors. Whereas, in the area of gold-working activities, investors within the area’s activities, have come up with Arezzo Innovazione, a partnership between businesses, which has as its goal that of broadening the manufacturing skills with the creation of a research centre involved in the study of the product and the creation of systems of so-called rigid prototyping.