(AGI) Florence, May 30 - Tuscan exports are forging ahead, with an important leap forward in the fourth quarter of last year. There was a 6.5 per cent increase in the same period in 2014, excluding precious metals. Tuscany made good ground, compared with the rest of Italy, which had a 2.9 per cent increase. The region had an annual average growth of 3.0 percent, compared with the rest of Italy at 3.8 percent. This marks the sixth consecutive increase in exports, which is now 45 percent higher than in 2009, excluding precious metals. The figures were published by national statistics institute ISTAT as Tuscan foreign trade data for the fourth quarter and for 2015, processed by the Study Centre at the Regional Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Handicraft and Agriculture Unioncamere Toscana. Regional association Unioncamere Toscana President Andrea Sereni said: "Yet again the export data confirms that there is a hugely dynamic business nucleus in Tuscany, that has focused on quality, innovation and on representing the values of our tradition to make its mark on the world markets. The Tuscan businesses that have successfully become internationalised form an elite group within our production system, often managing to overcome the difficulties of the last few years by raising their levels of competitiveness, despite a countrywide system that has not always been able to underpin their efforts. This is why the steps taken to grow and consolidate the number of businesses operating with other countries is not just important in itself, but for the potential positive repercussions on the rest of the economic fabric. Implementing internationalisation means interrupting the continuity of our business strategy approach, and calls for a qualitative leap in the way we do business, as well as bolstering entrepreneurial skills, now more crucial than ever, given the increasing intensity of global competition." Sales growth outside Italy has been seen in most product categories, many of which have achieved double figure increases, in typical traditional "Made in Italy" products, such as food, which has had growth of 18.5 percent, and in more technological sectors such as computers and electronics, which were up 17.3 percent. (AGI) . .