Between 1991 and 2007, Veneto's exports increased by 8.7% per year, higher than the national average of 7.9%. When compared with Italy's other north-east regions, Veneto performed better than Trentino Alto Adige, and as well as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Emilia Romagna.
Regarding Foreign Direct Investments by Veneto businesses, 1991-2007 saw a rise in production activities abroad, which went from very low levels in the early 1990s (70 interests in foreign manufacturing companies, including about 8,300 employees) to much higher figures at the beginning of 2007 (968 foreign interests, including more than 103,000 employees).
Despite slower growth in recent years, Veneto is still among Italy's top exporters. The ratio between exports and industrial value added is higher than the national average (100 is the national average and Veneto stood at 124 in 2007) and in line with the North East.
Currently, Veneto businesses mainly base their presence abroad on trade as their direct presence on foreign markets is fairly low. Where they do appear abroad, their commercial activities carry considerably more weight than the national average, thanks mainly to the extensive networks created abroad by the region's large enterprises, while a major portion of production investment abroad is geared towards relocating specific production phases to countries where labour costs are low.
The region's larger businesses, which are medium-sized by national standards, play a major role in different aspects of its international competitiveness as they export and invest abroad.
In the last four years, the number of companies in the region declaring more than 20 million euro of exported goods has increased by 92 units (from 356 in 2004 to 448 in 2007), and their contribution to the share of exports has risen from 51.7% to 57.2%.
Last year, 58 businesses had an export turnover of more than 100 million euro, 12 more than 2004.
(Chapter 2 in figures)