When it comes to the Sardinian labour market, “geographic” factors don’t seem too influential on the companies’ localisation choice; instead, other elements such as the presence of an appropriate basin of work force, in quantitative and qualitative terms like professionalism and know-how, the availability of service facilities that increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of the company’s productive activities and the presence of a proper infrastructural equipment are always increasingly strategic. Since we’re talking of a rather relevant choice for all types of business, it is fitting to analyse one-by-one all the factors that affect this choice.
As far as geographic aspects are concerned:
- Sardinia has a typically Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild and relatively rainy winters and dry and hot summers. The climate is influenced by the sea, but this effect weakens toward the inland areas. The average annual temperature is around 11 ° C in the internal areas and around 17 ° C in the coastal areas, with lower values registered in January and February and higher temperatures recorded in July and August. Rainfall, almost absent in the summer months, reach progressively the maximum level in the winter, usually after abundant precipitations in autumn. The region is widely exposed to the wind and its whole coast is influenced by the sea breezes;
- The island’s territory can count on the presence of a rich heritage of natural resources characterized by a variety of environments and landscapes, a great range of biodiversity (animals and plants) and of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. A large share of this heritage is now included into a system of terrestrial and maritime protected areas and Sites of Community Interest that form the Regional Ecological Network. This heritage has a strategic value in the framework of the enhancement policies initiated by the Regional Government in recent years. The competitive advantage is the ability of these resources, if adequately protected and enhanced, to support various economic sectors as leisure and cultural services and other economic activities that are capable to support the development of the territories and to improve the quality of life for local people.
- We can mention, for example, some of the many initiatives put in place annually by the current Regional Agency Forestas (also financed by the E.U.) in the forestry and wildlife sector: project Swatch, aimed at experimentation and monitoring in Environmental Studies sector, and project Ecoplantmed, which supports the environmentally-friendly use of native plants for the environmental restoration.
- The special synergy created by adding natural and landscape resources to the cultural heritage, together with the reinforcing trends of ways of wide fruition based on the enjoyment of the environmental, landscape and cultural resources represents an important competitive advantage.
The Regional Government has allocated funds and developed strategies to safeguard its historical and artistic heritage through the restoration of monuments, churches, theatres, sculptures, urban historic centres, structures and buildings. The island was the first Italian region to adopt the directives included in the "Cultural Heritage and Landscape Bill" by elaborating the Regional Landscape Plan. The plan is a regulatory tool for local governments aimed at preserving and valorising the historical and cultural assets of the territory by protecting the cultural and natural landscape.
The region also enjoys a strategic position at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. This position, combined with the existing infrastructures, allows investors to take advantage of Sardinia’s centrality in the Mediterranean markets and its relations with the international context, in those between the European continent and the North African countries.
Finally, workforce and human capital should not be left out of the equation; they are critical assets for an enterprise. To be competitive and efficient, a company must indeed find qualified human resources, consistent with its mission and core business. Therefore, choosing the best professionals in the area and knowing the dynamics of the labour market is certainly a crucial localization factor. Sardinia also has a deeply rooted academic tradition thanks to the Universities of Cagliari and Sassari. These two institutions, thanks to the relentless work of their faculties, cover all the areas of research and teaching and cooperate with the network of public and private high schools and vocational technical institutions of the regional education system.
Therefore, if we sum up an inclusive labour market made by qualified, business-oriented human capital, a transport infrastructure system capable to ensure the accessibility and mobility of goods and people, the presence of efficient utilities (energy, water, web infrastructure) and the widespread commitment to protect and enhance the cultural and environmental heritage, which we consider as an economic resource capable of generating income and employment, we can conclude that Sardinia has all the factors that allow investors to compete in the global marketplace.
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