Industrial development and economic welfare: The case of the tile industryin the regions of Emilia Romagna (Italia) and Castellon (Spain)
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Tile industry is a vital source of economic growth for both Italy and Spain but mainly for the regions of Emilia Romagna in Italy and that of Valencia, in Spain. In 2012, 267 ceramic tile, sanitary ware, tableware and refractory materials manufacturing companies operated in the Italian tile industry, produced 367,2 million square meters of tiles and reported a total turnover of 6.60 billion euro, 79% of which was generated by exports. Investments continued to grow and reached 255.5 million euro (up 2.83% on 2011), equivalent to more than 5.5% of annual turnover. On the other hand, the Spanish ceramic tile industry, was the first European producer and the sixth globally for 2012 by producing 404 million square meters of tiles. The total sales of the sector for 2012 reached 2.656 million € and rendered Spain the second biggest tile exporter in Europe and third in the world (2011). It's worth mentioning that the ceramic sector is the second sector that brings more trade surplus to Spain (2.000 million Euros in 2011), and the first in commercial coverage. The competitive advantage of both industries has mainly been driven by their particular type of organisation as an industrial district (Sassuolo-Italy and Castellon-Spain). Firms organized in clusters are shown to generate important comparative advantage and encourage innovation. Calculation of the regional Index of Sustainable economic Welfare revealed that aggregate indicators like ISEW have potential value if they are used with others indicators to inform debate and stimulate questions about the nature of the development process. GDP has been proved to be constantly higher than ISEW in the regions under study although it follows a parallel evolution to ISEW through the years.