Pavia's business environment centres around small and micro enterprises, which account for 80% of all operational companies in the area and help make the local economy the dynamic and specialist system it is today.
Pavia has a long agricultural and rural history and a sizeable industrial sector. The 1950s marked the start of a boom period for mechanical engineering, textiles/footwear, chemicals and agriculture/food processing which has continued to this day. Turning to economic geography, the province is split into the pavese, the lomellina and the oltrepò. These correspond to the industrially developed areas surrounding Pavia, Vigevano and Voghera respectively. Economic activity varies across the zones. Vigevano, for example, is famed for its shoemaking machinery and footwear, one of the products that Italy is most renowned for. The division of the economy into specialist market niches helps keep Pavia's economic output unique and competitive.
The entrepreneurial spirit is sparkling in Pavia: new businesses are created at a steady rate and in line with the national average.
The area has an extensive and efficient infrastructure network which surpasses the regional and national average. Health and educational infrastructure (e.g the Università degli Studi di Pavia) are two success stories.
The economic fabric of Pavia includes various different product sectors and market specialisation is widespread. Agricultural produce and food & wine are already very profitable and interesting is growing in engineering.
Pavia is strategically located, close to Milano and its airports but not far away from the famous port of Genoa either. These two factors boost trade with other EU countries as well as in the emerging markets of central-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Pavia is part of an important intermodal logistic network for moving goods (especially for fresh products). Thanks to Polo Mortara, dry port of Savona, the province plays a key role in transportation among intermodal centers in Lombardy. Polo Mortara will also intersect with the important corridor 24 to Rotterdam.
The GDP per capita in the province of Pavia is high (€27,000 per year). Growth in financial investments is another sign that average incomes are rising.
Pavia is the first Italian province for cereal and rice production and has few equals, even on world scale, when it comes to using modern techniques and meeting foreign market demands. Pavia is also famous for its excellent wine grape varieties. Standout features are the innovative business approaches, attention to product detail and the ability to create unique brands as well as promote them.
Pavia is especially identifiable with this sector which complements and overlaps engineering. Healthcare institutions, research centres and a world-class technology park help keep companies in the sector at the forefront of development. They also ensure access to human resources with up-to-date, specialist knowledge and who are capable of implementing innovative approaches to medicine and chemicals.
The engineering industry is highly developed and covers the following: shoemaking machinery, precision metalworking, sterilisers, fridge and air conditioning compressors, sheet metal working and metal components. Companies in the sector can count on a support network of flexible and high quality external contractors and businesses. Ongoing research into new materials and production processes, as well as the use of sophisticated electronics, also ensures greater reliability and improved technology.
The Vigevano industrial district is part of the "Sistema Moda" Fashion and Textile Federation and is one of the oldest in Lombardy. The district is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the crown of Italian industry. A crucial factor in the success of so many SMEs in the footwear sector can be traced back to an exemplary production system which has few equals. This is the result of the know-how of businesses and staff, together with the concentration and specialisation of shoemaking machinery manufacturers.
The health sector is one of the area's economic strong points owing to the wide range of advanced yet constantly improving healthcare services, the numerous medical research institutes and the first-rate hospitals. The close ties with the pharmaceutical sector are another huge benefit.