Business & Asia

Emilia-Romagna is the first Italian region for the value of its per capita export and the third one for the total value of its exports. In 2018, 14.6% of its export was destined to Asian markets.


China is the sixth destination of the export of the Emilia-Romagna Region. The export volume towards China has been rising by 49.5% compared to 2010. China is also one of the main exporters in Emilia-Romagna (9.5% of the total export of the region). Between 2010 and 2019, the imports of the region from China rose by 10%.

Commercial and investment relationships between China and Emilia-Romagna are based on two main agreements:

  • Memorandum of Understanding, signed in November 2015 between the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Guangdong Province, to carry out initiatives in the following sectors: trade, investment, technology, environmental safety, culture, and tourism;
  • Agreement with the Shandong Province, signed in November 2018, which broadens industrial cooperation to trade, agriculture, education, and tourism.

Republic of Korea

Trade relationships between Emilia-Romagna and South Korea are solid and are particularly strong in the agricultural and food sectors. This relationship has been growing in recent years, especially as concerns meat exports. In this context, the ties with the province of Reggio Emilia are particularly strong: in 2015, South Korea imported agricultural goods for a value of more than 60 million, while exporting around 30 million of its goods to Reggio Emilia. Moreover, in 2015, Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, Namdo-Cooperatives Federation, and Lee Nak-yon - Governor of Jeollanam-do Region - signed a Memorandum of Understanding which foresaw training and study visits for South Korean cooperators and representatives.

Finally, South Korea is one of the main targets of the "Go Global 2021-2025" Strategy of the Emilia-Romagna Region. This is a multi-year plan to internationalize the regional productive system, by fostering exports and strengthening relationships, particularly with Asian countries.


Japan is a crucial trade partner for the Emilia-Romagna region, especially as regards exports (which accounted for 916 million in 2015). The most important export categories are mechanical products followed by the fashion industry, which together account for around 65% of total exports. Thanks to the Economic Partnership Agreement, signed between Japan and the European Union in 2019, trade relations between Japan and Emilia-Romagna are constantly growing.

South-East Asia

In recent years, the Emilia-Romagna Region has strengthened its relationships with several South-East Asian countries. In 2013, the Regional Government and the Government of the State of Gujarat (India) signed a Declaration of Intent to collaborate on technical, cultural, and economic fields to jointly develop research and development and business projects, with a particular focus on infrastructures. Also in 2013, the Regional Association of the Chambers of Commerce of Emilia-Romagna signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Binh Duong Province (Socialist Republic of Vietnam) to promote cooperation and establish relationships in the fields of economy, trade, service, tourism, import, export and to foster investment cooperation. Finally, even the countries of the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are pivotal in the "Go Global 2021-2025" Strategy of the Emilia-Romagna Region.