“We dedicated an extraordinary effort to the development and to the enterprise: the financial law will provide 7 billion € to the enterprises. Indeed, we believe that a small resumption of the economy is not tantamount to stable development”, Giulio Santagata, Italian minister for the implementation of the government programme, said in Bologna at the Assembly of the Industrial cooperatives of Legacoop.

Rossano Rimelli, in charge of the industrial sector at Legacoop, in turn said: “In order to re-launch a real industrial policy, it is necessary to increase the competitive capacity of the local productive systems, whose potential has to be taken into account. We consider necessary to involve all the territorial actors in identifying programmes of industrial innovation”.

“The network system which links the cooperative enterprises can be useful in doing important synergies and to address the chronic problem of “dwarfism” which can be found in the Italian productive system, Rimelli said. To increase the entrepreneurial dimension is a priority even if it is very difficult to implement. Promoting organisational structures based on groups can thus become a necessity”.

“Investments for new products are needed, as well as more quality services and more infrastructures in the territories where the enterprises are at work, Rimelli added. For those reasons we consider positive that the government is proposing the re-launching of a real industrial and innovation policy.

On our part, we will try to develop our network capacity, and to strengthen it with concrete entrepreneurial projects, of business areas, without neglecting the human factor, which is increasingly strategic, and thus also training”.

According to the data presented at the assembly, out of the 561 industrial cooperatives which at the national level are affiliated to Legacoop (with a turnover of 3,7 billion euro, a workforce of 19 000 persons, out of whom 12.500 are members, one third of sales going to exports), the main part is the Emilia Romagna region, especially the cooperative industrial district of Imola.

In Emilia Romagna there are 79 industrial cooperatives, with 6500 workers, an aggregate turnover of 2,4 billion with €, 1,3 billion € going to exports.