(ANSA) - Rubbiano (Parma), October 8 - The resilience of the Emilia-Romagna region and its people has earned respect from around the world, Premier Mario Monti said Monday. He spoke at the opening of a new Barilla factory in Rubbiano, near Parma, pointing to the 40-million-euro plant as evidence of the strength of the region in recovering from last spring's devastating earthquakes. "The desire to be reborn is enormous in Emilia-Romagna," Monti said, as the plant began work manufacturing pasta sauce for export as well as domestic consumption. Earthquakes on May 20 and 29, along with aftershocks, killed 27 people, injured about 350 more and drove more than 45,000 people from their homes in the region. Barilla's investment in the plant is also a good example of the kind of development Italy needs, said the president of Confagricoltura Mario Guidi. Barilla, which already owns 13 plants in Italy, is defying the trend among Italian industrial firms to shut down operations in the face of a deepening recession. The company's said it is looking at new products for export to expand the 135-year-old enterprise's global reach.