A traveling conference organized by Fondazione Fiera Milano (Brescia – November 10, MILAN - November 14, Rho – November 15) highlights the economic growth in Lombardy stimulated by Milan’s new exhibition system.

Brescia – Economic development in Lombardy cuts a swath across the foothills of the Alps and Brescia lies at the heart of the industrial and infrastructural metamorphosis taking place in this area. Along this axis, which crosses the region from east to west and is home to one of the most highly concentrated industrial zones in the country, there are 4.5 million inhabitants, 5 manufacturing districts, 475,000 businesses, and 1.6 million jobs.

One of the significant driving forces behind development of this area is the transformation of Fiera Milano (Milan Fair) into an organized exhibition system with two central hubs (the New Complex under construction in Rho-Pero and the City Complex in Milan). When on stream, they will generate wealth in the region to the tune of €4.3 billion, and open up 42,700 new jobs.
Operational autonomy, a location central to production flows, a catalyst in boosting the area’s infrastructure system, and a model of design functionality—all contribute to casting Fiera Milano in a leading role along this axis of development.

This transformation was the main topic today, November 10th, during the "East-West-Lombardy. The cardinal points of development" series of traveling conferences promoted by Fondazione Fiera Milano, at the Brixia Expo.

The next stops on Fondazione Fiera Milano’s traveling conference circuit will be:

  • Milan, “A city without borders”, Friday, November 14
  • Transformation of the business fabric and  the lifestyles of its citizens.
  • Rho, “The western gate”, Saturday, November 15
  • Transformation of the territory and fair-related professions.

Luigi Roth, Chairman and CEO of Fondazione Fiera Milano, opened the session with a welcome address. Many local officials were in attendance, including the Mayor of Brescia, Paolo Corsini, President of the Province of Brescia, Alberto Cavalli; and President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni, who made the closing remarks.
An audience of businessmen, managers, academic professionals and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and associations, took part in the meeting. It began with the presentation of two studies commissioned by Fondazione Fiera Milano and conducted by the AASTER Consortium and by CERTeT-Bocconi University.

Aldo G. Bonomi, Director of the AASTER Consortium, specifically traced the axis of development in Lombardy from East to West, and indicated the area around Brescia as “an immense manufacturing platform from which the globalization trends within the region land and take off”.
The Milan Fair offers a clear example: on one hand, it is a key player in global competition (thus promoting the competitiveness of the entire region),  and on the other, its roots are firmly anchored in the Milan area  (34% of Fair exhibitors are from the Lombardy region).

Globalization has caused district economies to take off vertically. Nowadays in Lombardy, no one talks about industrial districts any more, but rather of metadistricts where public and private initiatives are concentrated, with the aim of making the system more competitive.

For his part, Roberto Zucchetti, director of transportation (Area Trasporti) at CERTeT-Bocconi, drew an overall picture of the new system of infrastructures that will “bring goods, know-how, people and prospective clients” to Brescia and to the entire region.

With the construction of the New Complex, Lombardy will “attract” and evolve into a role capable of forcefully stimulating development. From an economic standpoint, fair activities bring about substantial imports of services, funneling resources produced in other parts of the world into the Region.
It is precisely this act of setting in motion richer demand segments (air transportation, high speed trains, quick transfers to and from the airports, highways and parking areas, etc.) that can make it possible to develop and manage infrastructures that would not offer adequate potential for profitability, were it not for this increased demand.

Lanfranco Senn (Bocconi University) summarized the discussion. Other participants were Francesco Bettoni, President of CCIAA of Brescia and BreBeMi, Carlo Alberto Belloni, President of Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda S.p.A., Raffaele Cattaneo, Deputy Secretary General of the Lombardy Region, Marco Citterio, President of Unioncamere Lombardia, Sergio Bologna, Vice President of AILOG, Roberto Ceresoli, Director of Ferrovie Nord Milano Ingegneria, and Ilario Testa, President of Sacbo S.p.A.