Diversification and business acumen are the buzzwords to use when describing Varese's economy. Some 65,000 companies employing 272,000 workers are distributed across the secondary and tertiary sectors, offering a vast array of products and services.
Varese's extensive entrepreneurial history is reflected by its successful multinationals (Agusta, Bticino, Whirlpool, Novartis, Conforama and Alenia Aermacchi) and its thriving network of small and medium-sized businesses and craft workshops. A total of 53 businesses per sq km (an average of 34 in Lombardy and a national average of 18) of which 37% are craft workshops (an average of 32% in Lombardy and a national average of 28%) are just a couple of Varese's key economic statistics.
As a result, new companies are able to rely on a varied economic structure in a province that balances modernity and tradition.
Varese closes the gap between companies and the education system. The area has always based its economic development on quality: as such, human capital is paramount. The education system guarantees a high level of qualification and specialisation in line with the structure of the economy. High profile employees are fundamental to business development and Varese has been able to satisfy the demand by implementing specialist education programmes at two local universities: Università Carlo Cattaneo (LIUC) and Università degli Studi dell’Insubria.
Varese is home to several prominent energy consortia and businesses. Companies from Varese are also heavily involved in important initiatives that encourage energy product/process innovation and internationalisation, such as "Energy clusters: local energy for a Varese: a great place to live and a key destination for eco-tourism. The blue lakes, green fields and valleys at the foot of the Alps make Varese an eco-friendly province, with low emissions of particulate matter (PM10), good water quality and water treatment facilities, waste management and recycling.
Varese shortens the distance. The province is at the heart of Europe, at the foot of the Alps, and is a stepping stone to the north of the continent. Varese is also at the forefront of ICT through the deployment of ultra-wideband (UWB) network. UWB connects key European markets and simplifies communication between businesses and the public.
Varese always supports its companies. Varese’s businesses can always rely on comprehensive support in terms of promotional activity, development and assistance and they can benefit from a system that encompasses both public and private sectors. These forces have vowed to work together to help companies cope with harsh economic circumstances.
Varese exports globally. Varese’s trade surplus adds up to nearly €9 billion a year, while more than 30% of the manufacturing revenue comes from exports alone. The hi-tech sector of the economy has brought international prestige to Varese, accounting for 63% of the share of production. This puts the province in first place in Lombardy (47% being the national average).