Gold is not the only Tuscan export to do well in the world. In fact, the 2013 statistics published by the ISTAT (National Statistics Institute) seem to indicate the opposite. The halt of precious metals, which had been the driving force for foreign trade in previous years, left space for the growing strength of other sectors of the regional production to emerge on international markets. If one omits the figures relative to precious metals, the Confindustria Centro di Studi [Research Center] indicates, last year’s exports increased by 5%: a trend that is clearly better than the Italian average (+1.1%) and second only to Piedmont, when comparing across regions.

Which are the leading sectors? Firstly, the agro-industrial products, whose growth nearly reached double digits. After 2012’s +6%, the exports of foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco grew by 9.9%, with a 7% growth of the beverage compartment and specifically of oils (+15.5%), which confirmed themselves as one of Tuscany’s most successful products worldwide: a few months ago, Coldiretti – one of the major associations of agricultural entrepreneurs, estimated that oil exports for 2013 would have exceeded 500 million Euros, a record for the sector. An excellent trend for the pharmaceutical industry as well (+17%), especially due to a consistent recovery during the second semester. The leather and footwear sector – another reference point for the regional economy – also lived a good year abroad, registering a +9%. In the manufacturing sector, the growth rate for jewelry also stands out, having increased exports by 20% in 2013.

Last year, the greatest satisfactions for Tuscan productions came primarily from the African market (+27%), thanks to the renewal of relations with continent’s northern regions: specifically the extraordinary trend of the sales of machinery and jewelry (as well as by the stone and chemical sectors) in Algeria helped to support the area’s positive data. The statistics pertaining to Europe are, on the whole, penalized by the slowing of the precious metals sector, at the net of which Tuscany repots a +3.6% with European Union countries and a +5% with non-EU countries. In the Old Continent, if Poland is the region with the most important growth rates for Tuscan products, more consolidated markets such as Germany – thanks to the mechanics, pharmaceutical and foodstuffs sectors – and France – supported by the fashion system, by metal products, and chemical products destined to agriculture – are also positive. Trade with the United States is also growing moderately, due primarily to the leather and footwear sectors and electric equipment, as is trade with Asia. 

In partnership with IlSole24ore