This paper describes preliminary the evolution of manufacturing exports of high district intensity provinces. The survey has been carried out over the period 1995-2007. In our study we suppose that the linkage between the province and the industrial district is of indirect type. The provinces are differentiated according to a district intensity indicator. The main focus of this paper is on high district intensity provinces. In order to highlight the relationship between growth performance and export a taxonomy is proposed. The classification based on the comparison between the growth rates of value added and employment allows us to distinguish the provinces in four clusters: "winners"; "catching up"; "falling behind"; "losers". Finally, adopting the shift-and-share technique we possible to separate local and sectoral effects. These effects are observable though the analysis of the performance of international markets. This application shows how these effects are peculiar features of the "winner" and "catching up" provinces. Conversely, for the "falling behind" and "losers" provinces the local component assumes negative values.