MOLISE - Economy
In 2001, Molise has produced 0.4% of the country's gross value added. The per capita GDP is well under the national average and represents around 79% of the EU average. Since 2000, Molise is outside the EU 'Objective 1' regions, and will be in a transition phase of support until 2006.
In 2001, 4.5% of goods and market services were produced in agriculture. In comparison to the nationwide picture, the region's economy is marked by a greater emphasis on agriculture with the 5th most important share of gross value added produced by this sector in the region in 2001. The share of gross value added produced by industry is below national average (24.9% in 2001 compared to 27.8% for the whole country) while the services sector is slightly above (70.6% compared to 69.5% in 2001).
Though there is a large Fiat plant, the industrial sector is dominated by the building industry with small and medium-sized firms spread widely throughout the region. Another important industry is food processing: pasta, meat, milk products, oil and wine are the traditional products of the region. In the services sector the most important industries are distribution, hotels and catering, followed by transport and communications, banking and insurance. With few exceptions, in all sectors firms are small, and this explains the difficulties encountered when marketing products on a national scale.
From agriculture to technological innovation in industry
Agriculture remains the characteristic activity of the region, especially cereals and livestock rearing (mainly sheep and cattle), though the total surface of arable land in the region in 2000 decreased by 14.3% compared to 1990. The fall in the number of holdings has led to an increase in the average size of holdings, from 8.3 hectare/holding in 1990 to 8.7 in 2000. The drift of workers away from agriculture has partly been absorbed by the industries that developed in the region in the 1970s and 1980s.
The construction of the Fiat factory in Termoli dates back to 1973. An automotive industry involving major investment in technological innovation thus developed alongside the region's chemical and engineering firms. The agro-food industry is expanding in the Campobasso-Bojano area with one of the biggest Italian firms active in the production and processing of poultry.
The region's pasta manufacturers are winning an increasing share of the domestic and international market. Much remains to be done for the region's small cheese manufacturers to make traditional products (soft cheese) better known and appreciated by consumers. In the province of Isernia a sizeable clothing industry has developed beside other industries. The services sector is characterised by small firms active in distribution, transport, banking and insurance.
Links with the rest of the country depend on a railway network linking the capital, Campobasso, with Rome and Naples. On the Adriatic coast, the railway station at Termoli provides rapid links with the cities of northern and southern Italy.
The port of Termoli is used mainly by fishing boats and by ferries linking the mainland with the Tremiti islands. Road transport is the weak point of the region's network; the main roads are old, and the motorways are limited to 30 km on the Adriatic coast.