which lies to the north-west of Milan, is one of Italys most prominent
industrial and service-oriented provinces. The local economy has flourished,
in part, because of the proximity of Malpensa International Airport,
Lombardys main air hub and one of Vareses premier facilities.
There is a diverse spread of industry ranging from textiles and electro-mechanical
equipment to plastics and aeronautical services. It is pioneering in
areas such as high technology, moving from industrial enterprise towards
services. The province has a strong trading record with the UK and the
rest of the EU.
Vareses President, Marco Reguzzoni,
says there is a joint campaign with the local Chamber of Commerce to
promote the image of the province further across Europe. We want
to promote our territory because we believe not enough is known about
it, he says.
Tourism is another important draw. Lakes,
including Lake Maggiore, mountains and other attractions, make Varese
an ideal vacation spot for international tourists. The Malpensa Fiere
congress centre highlights a growing trend towards business tourism
Mr Reguzzoni stresses the credentials of the local workforce and a long
history of innovation this is where the aeronautical industry
was born in Italy a century ago. There is a solid educational system
underpinned by two prestigious universities the University of
Insubria and LIUC (Libera Università Carlo Cattaneo). There is
another important research centre, the Joint Research Centre of the
European Union, located in Ispra.
As well as investment in education, Mr
Reguzzoni says Varese has faced the challenges of globalisation on a
number of other fronts. He says Varese is committed to innovation,
with research centres, with the creation of two university poles during
the last 10 years, and a modernisation process in production and management.
Renzo Dionigi, Rector of the University
of Insubria, says Varese offers a unique slant in the Lombardy higher
education system, providing specialist courses covering areas such as
environmental science and protection, cultural heritage and tourism
science. The university, which is twinned with the University of Leicester,
has an international research department for local history and a medical
centre of excellence, respected at a national and international level.
Italian universities meet the same standards as most other European
countries, he says.