Gorilla Logic, a company based in Medellin, bets on training for women

24 women and 4 men graduated from the program “From Zero to Hero: introduction to software development” where the American company Gorilla Logic, in alliance with the prestigious network Women Who Code Medellín carried out during 6 months.

The program was aimed primarily at women who are passionate about technology and want to orient their professional life towards this discipline even without previous experience. The application process to join the “From Zero to Hero” program in Medellin began in early February 2023, in which only 28 students were selected from among 100 applicants and at the end of August they graduated after completing the entire course that included face-to-face and virtual lectures and personalized support.

We share a video where we were able to capture the emotion of the moments lived in the graduation ceremony of the program.


Founded in 2002, Gorilla Logic provides Agile teams to Fortune 500 and SMB companies, bringing unmatched expertise in delivering mobile, web and cloud applications at enterprise scale. It has corporate headquarters in Colorado and more than 700 employees in four different locations: United States, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico. It is the first premier nearshore software development consultancy in LATAM.


Women Who Code is a non-profit organization with a suite of programs for engineering professionals focused on developing their careers. Local chapters around the world organize technical, professional, educational and networking events, providing free tickets and scholarship opportunities for members through the weekly CODE Review newsletter, which also features career success stories of women in the industry.


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Free Trade Zones: key spaces for the development of our region

Free Trade Zones in Antioquia, are a fundamental part of the public and private gear to attract Foreign Direct Investment because their location, benefits, infrastructure and ease in costs have made these spaces, an engine for the development of local and regional economy.

Today we share a report prepared by ACI Medellin, in collaboration with the Free Trade Zone of Urabá, Rionegro and Zofiva, to better understand the benefits of the free trade regime in our country offering competitive costs for the arrival of foreign investment.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing some explanatory videos that will be hosted on the website and YouTube account of the ACI Medellin with the spokespersons of each of the Free Trade Zones of Antioquia.

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Alliance for education, Germany promotes the development of young people in our region.

Thanks to the international cooperation project, Alliance for Training, led by the AFOS Foundation, supported by the Colombian-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Medellín Chamber of Commerce for Antioquia and financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through Sequa, about 100 young people from the Department will be trained in the Dual Education modality, increasing employability and business competitiveness in the sectors of digital economy and tourism in Medellín and Antioquia.

The dual education system, successful in Germany, is a model in which the apprentice divides his time between the university, where he acquires theoretical knowledge, and the company, where he learns practical skills. The purpose is to close the gap between academia and the productive sector and increase the employability of young people.

To learn more about the impact of this project, we share the story of Dilbani Enriquez and Jaime Andrés, a married couple from Medellín, beneficiaries of this international cooperation program.

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With the arrival of $836 million in foreign investment, Medellin consolidates its position as a business and innovation district

77 foreign companies in technology, life sciences, manufacturing and commerce, among others, have arrived in Medellín between 2020 and 2023, creating close to 13,000 quality jobs for people from all over the territory, representing $836 million in foreign investment. These companies arrived thanks to competitive costs, tax benefits, human talent and the quality of life offered by the District.

Companies such as Life Factors, N-iX, Sana Commerce, Concentrix, Genius Sports came to Medellin to contribute to the development of the Software Valley. Most of the installed companies come from the United States, Spain, France, Holland, Germany and Argentina.

“In the entity we intensify our international relations so that foreigners who come to the city bring development, knowledge and employment that dignify our talents and improve the quality of life of the people of Medellin. The positive balance in attracting foreign investment has required years of effort by ACI Medellin, with key support from entities such as ProColombia and Ruta N, with which we have exposed potential investors from around the world because Medellin is a great opportunity for their businesses to prosper,” said the executive director of ACI Medellin, Juan Camilo Mergesh.

Many executives from the companies’ countries of origin chose to stay in the city and in many cases brought their families with them, which in turn creates dynamism in the economy and favors interculturality.

“We came to Medellin attracted by the quality of Colombian engineers. Personally, I came to live in Medellin 10 years ago, working in other software companies where I met the quality, knowledge and desire to learn from the engineers here. I have been very happy because the people and the environment are unique. For the moment, the company seeks to continue growing and generating jobs and development for this city that has welcomed us with open arms,” said Håkan Ahlstedt, director of Nexer in Colombia, a Swedish technology company that arrived in the District in 2022.

This foreign investment is complemented by the positive figures that the city had with the arrival of international tourists. In the first half of this year, 674,493 were registered, that is, 13% more than in the same period of 2022, when there were 593,648, and 56% more if compared to the same period of 2019, making Medellín positioned in the world as a District open to the arrival of people from other countries who want to work and live in the city.

In international cooperation, the city has received 27 million dollars for the fulfillment of projects in education, culture, sports, health and social inclusion.

This recognition of the District at the global level meant that between 2020 and so far in 2023, 1.813 high-level international validators, including ambassadors, mayors, executives of large companies, ministers and senior government advisors, as well as 200 international journalists from media such as América Economía, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Telemundo and Univision, among others, who came to learn about projects such as the C4TA, the Software Valley Centers, the escalators in Commune 13, the metro system, cultural programs such as the Music Schools Network and the Buen Comienzo Gardens.

“I love Medellín for its climate; the people are also very friendly, the public spaces are clean and the people here have a great sense of belonging to the city. In addition, it is a very innovative city, very internationalized, although it retains its own flavor. Finally, I love that here there is a balance between green and natural, along with an organization around business and investment,” he said.

On October 5, the event Medellín and its International Allies will be held at Ruta N, where the most outstanding achievements of Medellín will be socialized before key members of the international community such as ambassadors, consuls, mayors, ministers and entrepreneurs, as was done in 2021, when projects such as the 80 Metro, Software Valley Centers and C4TA were presented to friends from all over the world.

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The Tech Landscape of Colombia and other Latin American countries: a сomprehensive Report released by N-iX

We share a report of the Ukrainian company N-iX, installed in our city, where they talk about the competitive advantages of the most important countries in the region such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. Additionally, they focus on the city of Medellin which is valued very positively as an attractive city for investment due to its costs, quality of life and human talent.

N-iX, a global software solutions and engineering services company, has published an in-depth report examining the tech landscape of Latin American countries, including Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile, and others.

Latin America has a tech talent pool of almost 2 million professionals. As a result, the region’s growing tech industry and talent pool make software development outsourcing an attractive option for businesses looking to tap into the region’s potential. The comprehensive report analysis aims to assist senior executives, tech and business leaders seeking software development partners, strategic sourcing destinations, and development centre locations.

As N-iX has an R&D center in Medellin, Colombia, the first part of the report is dedicated to Colombia. 

In 2021, Colombia ranked third in the region after Mexico and Brazil in terms of IT market size, with $10.2B.

By 2025, Fedesoft, the Colombian Federation of IT and Software Industries, wants software to account for 5% of Colombia’s GDP. Since the ICT industry in the country has begun to diversify, the sector is expected to grow in the coming years. Along with telecommunications, Colombian and Colombian-based companies are engaging in software development and AI-aided consulting.

The country ranks 13th on the Global Services Location Index. Colombia marked the strongest advance of any country in the 2016 GSLI, moving up 23 spots to 20. This was driven by a combination of improvements across the board in financial attractiveness, largely fueled by depreciation of the peso, and solid gains in IT and BPO experience.

The constant innovation and dynamic development of Colombia’s technology sector attracts companies looking to partner with Latin American software developers. Between 2015 and 2019, IT services exports increased by an average of 3%, reaching $229.1M. As a result, the country is now a gateway to international markets, including the United States (33%), Ecuador (14.1%), and Mexico (8.3%).

To access the full report, please, visit N-iX website.

To learn more about N-iX’s software solutions and engineering services, visit N-iX Team Extension in Latin America page.

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Accelirate, the tech company that promises 100 quality job openings, has just landed in Medellín

Today there are 75 engineers working in the company, and the promise is to reach up to 100 jobs that improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of Medellín. Accelirate operates in different sectors such as banking and financial services, accounting, insurance, healthcare, hospitality, industry, retail, oil and education. It offers technology and digital transformation solutions to all of its clients in these sectors.  

This company is a leader in robotic processes and artificial intelligence products and services in the US. It has presence in Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates. Now it is coming to Colombia.

For the president of ProColombia, Carmen Caballero, “the arrival of companies like Accelirate contributes to the purpose outlined by the National Government for the promotion of technology transfer, incorporation of technical progress and development of human capacity. Together with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, we continue working to promote the competitive advantages of the country and our talent so that more global companies choose Colombia as a business location with productive bets and the creation of qualified jobs”.  

Accelirate’s vision is to offer robotic process automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) services, and cutting-edge digital transformation solutions in various industries. “Our services include deployment of RPA platforms, management and monitoring of robotic software operations for our clients, and business consulting focused on identifying and mapping key business processes for automation and AI opportunities,” explained CEO Ahmed Zaidi.  

That’s not all. The company has inclusive and innovative workspaces where employees can be very creative and come up with the best ideas. This, in the words of Accelirate members, is a sign that the company values and attends to the needs of its employees. In addition to the workspaces, Accelirate is committed to training its employees in technical and social skills in order to offer the best to its clients. The idea is that they can grow, learn and solidify their knowledge as they advance in the company.  

Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellín, said: “Our city has become a center of development and innovation recognized by governments and companies from all over the world that come to see and copy our development model. Like Accelirate, today many companies come to improve the labor landscape by offering quality employment and providing quality of life to people and their environment. Our job as part of the District’s public conglomerate is to continue supporting these companies so that their growth is continuous”.  

And the key question: Why did they come to Medellín? From Accelirate they told us that the city offers them quality talent of development engineers and knowledge in automation technologies, which greatly differentiate them from those in other regions. 

They also added that Medellin is a strategic point for their development plans and that the stable financial market in the region was one of the reasons why they landed in the city. At this point they recognized that Medellin is recognized as a Software Valley worldwide, so it is a strategic point in its evolution.  

To achieve this they need their company to be recognized as an American company that offers comprehensive digital solutions, which go far beyond optimizing a process such as buying new software or eliminating paper from organizations. “It requires having a comprehensive vision of how your organization manages resources, this is the cutting edge and we are number 1 in the subject,” concluded Zaidi. 

The arrival of this and other companies to the CTI ecosystem of the District of Medellin reinforces the commitment of the Ruta N Corporation to improve the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants with jobs and well-paid job opportunities that can project their professional careers.  [more info]

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Medellin Fire Department strengthens its canine component with training from the most important expert in the Spanish-speaking world.

The purpose is to strengthen the firefighting and rescue response systems in Medellín, Valle de Aburrá, and other municipalities in Antioquia that are participating in the training.

A total of 28 members from official and volunteer firefighting and rescue groups from Valle de Aburrá and other municipalities in Antioquia are taking part in the training session with the most prominent Spanish-speaking expert in canine search and rescue. This expert is Álvaro Martínez Arroyo, who has 27 years of experience in the field and is currently in the city thanks to an international technical cooperation project by the Regional Government of Castilla y León in Spain, DAGRD, and ACI Medellín.

The recent case of the dog Wilson in Guaviare, which allowed for the successful location and rescue of four minors, reaffirms the importance of canines in these operations. “The dog, nowadays, is the best tool to locate and rescue people; there is no other tool capable of surpassing a search and rescue dog in terms of abilities and reliability,” expressed Álvaro Martínez, the Spanish expert.

This training is based on a different approach to canine training, employing a much more holistic methodology. The guide is provided with principles and scientific studies on canine training, which allows for a broader perspective and improvement in the training of search and rescue dogs. “Technical support and strengthening, both in operational and academic aspects, enable the partnerships in our metropolitan area to grow stronger. DAGRD and the Official Fire Department of Medellín have made this space available for co-creation, jointly strengthening the search and locating capabilities with canines,” said Laura Duarte, director of DAGRD.

The training provided to emergency response and firefighting organizations, including Medellín’s Fire Department, consists of 450 hours. Soon, the guides will further reinforce their learning in this first part through a virtual course with the University of Burgos, Spain. In October, the expert will return to Medellín, and next year, those who complete the entire process will travel to Spain to conclude their training and receive certification.

Among the participants are members of DAGRD, Medellín’s firefighters, Bello, Sabaneta, Envigado, San Jerónimo, the National Fire Department, and rescue organizations such as the Red Cross, Garsa Group, Aeronautical Search and Rescue, Carabineros, Police Rescue, and support groups.

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Medellín and Rio de Janeiro strengthen international cooperation in security and urban development

In recent years, the bilateral relationship between Medellín and Rio de Janeiro has significantly strengthened. Both cities have collaborated on issues of security, urban development, and technology, which has allowed for the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

A delegation from Rio de Janeiro visited Medellín to learn about projects and experiences of the Mayor’s Office in public security, governance, and risk prevention.

One of the most notable projects was the collaboration between Medellín and the Rio-ITS Institute of Technology and Society in 2022. This prestigious institution investigates the impact of technology on society and participated in a webinar organized by ACI Medellín on opportunities for the city and the region in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

International cooperation between Medellín and Rio de Janeiro has also been reflected in foreign direct investment. Since 2008, 9 investment projects have been managed from Brazil to the territory, with a total investment amount of USD 87.6 million. The infrastructure and logistics sector has been the main recipient of these funds, followed by the technology services sector.

These exchanges and collaborations are an example of both cities’ commitment to sustainable development and peacebuilding. International cooperation allows for the joint strengthening of urbanism, environment, and security policies and programs, benefiting both communities.

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Mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero Calle, received the Luxembourg Peace Prize 2023

The Mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero Calle, was awarded this Wednesday, June 14, with the Luxembourg Peace Prize 2023, in the category “Outstanding Public Efforts for Peace”, which recognizes the work of the District Mayor in the struggle for the construction of territorial peace in the city.

This category seeks to recognize a political figure with global coverage in the construction or promotion of peace through a style and model of government. Thus, during his administration, the current mayor of Medellin created the first Secretariat for Nonviolence in Colombia to guide the construction of territorial peace in the district, with the promotion of restorative justice that allows the transformation of conflicts and the protection of life as a fundamental value.

The award was presented by the Schengen Foundation for Peace and the World Peace Forum at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg.

On behalf of Mayor Daniel Quintero, the recognition was received by the Colombian artist Duván López, author of the work “La Silla de la Paz” (The Chair of Peace), a sculpture that is also given to those recognized with the award. This work represents a chair with only three legs, distinguishing the winners as the fourth leg for peace building.

Colombian artist Duván López, author of the work “La Silla de la Paz” (The Chair of Peace).

“When we took office as Mayor of the city, we came with a dream, with a commitment, to transform our city into a place of peace and reconciliation. Medellín has faced enormous challenges and has been recovering throughout these years, however, many of these wounds have remained open. That is why, from the mayor’s office, we firmly believed that we could heal them and build a better future,” said Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle.

These actions for non-violence and the consolidation of territorial peace together with the Articulated Strategy Against Homicide, have consolidated the last three years as the least violent in 40 years and the best results of the decade in clarification and arrest of those responsible for the crime.

“There is still much to do. Peace is not a final destination, but a continuous path that we must travel together, I call on all citizens of Medellin and the world to unite in this purpose. Let us continue working together to build a society based on concord, justice and mutual respect. We cannot allow the wounds of the past to define us and remain forever hurting us. We must learn from them and build a brighter future,” said the district governor.

The ceremony, organized by the Schengen Foundation for Peace and the World Peace Forum, was held at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg. Also honored were global activists, educators, leaders and artists such as Ali Abu Awwad, who has fought for nonviolence in Israel and Palestine; Mariia Levchenko, who has worked for peacebuilding in Ukraine, among other leaders and entities.

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Fusion BPO establishes its first operations center in South America in Medellín

This business process outsourcing company, born in Calcutta, India, currently has a presence in 14 countries on all continents, working for 250 clients from all sectors of the economy and in all languages. In 2021 they arrived in Medellín with the objective of establishing an operations center that today has 100 employees and expects to reach 500 in total by the end of 2023.  

One of its added values is the diversity and adaptation of its labor policies to its employees. They accept older adults over 55 years of age as well as young people who speak a second or more languages; they promote study and entrepreneurship, so it is normal to find people who are studying an undergraduate degree or working on their ventures, which requires the company to be flexible with the schedule.  

Raymond Moreno, HR Global Executive, affirms that “Medellin has the characteristics they need to grow the business and continue operating with clients from all over the world. The city has bilingual talent and within the senior segment we find adults who apart from mastering a second language are responsible, disciplined and organized to fulfill their duties.”

With more than 30 years of history in the industry, Fusion has developed a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, finance, telecommunications and other verticals. 

Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellín, assures that “foreign investment coming to Medellín seeks to generate social transformation beyond profitability. For this reason, companies like Fusion BPO, today come to promote employment in people over 55 years of age who have the profile and skills of a second language to serve customers around the world. We seek that every investor who comes to our district is willing to become an agent of change at all levels and thus make Medellin a model city in the region.  

For those interested in accessing job offers from the company can check the Instagram account where they post vacancies. [ here ]

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N-iX, the Ukrainian company arrives to Medellin in search of highly qualified IT talent

This European company arrives to Medellín to offer software development services company focused on expanding companies’ engineering capabilities and developing products in software engineering, cloud services, data analytics, embedded software, IoT, machine learning and other technology domains. 

During 2023, it expects to hire around 60 Colombian specialists, who will join its team of more than two thousand talents. 

“N-iX’s expansion to Colombia gives us access to a highly skilled and fast-growing pool of IT talent that can benefit from the multiple possibilities and challenges we offer thanks to our broad client portfolio and our solid experience in software engineering solutions.  

N-iX serves a number of global enterprises and Fortune 500 leaders, many of which are based in the U.S. “The presence in Colombia will allow the company to add even more value to new and existing partners”, says Erika Gutierrez, Head of N-iX Colombia. Also, we will create new opportunities for local talent by investing in local communities and bringing our global expertise to the region.” 

Founded in 2002 in Ukraine, N-iX has formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies, including Gogo, Fluke Corporation, Office Depot, Seeking Alpha, Saks Fifth Avenue, TuneIn, among others. 

“We celebrate the arrival of N-iX in Colombia, which contributes to the objective outlined by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to attract investment that fosters technology transfer and the development of human capabilities. Having global players such as N-iX is key to the consolidation of our country as one of the best environments in the region for technology-based services operations,” said Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia. 

“Human talent in technology is becoming the most valuable asset that our city has to attract technology companies that want to settle and expand their operations throughout the region. For this reason, today we celebrate the arrival of N-iX, a company that also saw in our territory the proximity to its key markets and a place with competitive costs that allow them to establish themselves and continue growing in the long term,” said Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellin. 

For N-iX, Colombia is fast becoming one of the outstanding outsourcing hubs that combines maturity of business practices, cost-effectiveness, a large talent pool and geographic proximity to the US. 

“Medellín and its inhabitants have a great opportunity for companies like N-iX to have local talent to link to their processes and the Ruta N team aims to help both the company and the young people of the city to connect so that, in this way, we allow the CTI ecosystem to grow and make Medellín a more competitive territory,” said Jorge Mario Calvo, executive director of Corporación Ruta N. 

In the coming years, N-iX plans to scale its Latin American division within the 30% annual growth rate that the company has been demonstrating in recent years.

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Medellin to open consulate general of Argentina to strengthen ties with more than 3,000 nationals living in the district

The Consulate General of Argentina will be opened in Medellín this year, with the purpose of assisting in migratory matters to close to 3,000 people from said country living in the city. This was announced by the Ambassador of Argentina in Colombia, Gustavo Alejandro Dzugala.

Gustavo Alejandro Dzugala, ambassador of Argentina in Colombia, announced from Medellín the opening of a general consulate in the city this year.

This diplomatic office will also promote cultural and economic ties and new cooperation and investment actions at the local level.

“I am here in Medellín to announce the opening of our consulate general in this city, in the framework of the 200th anniversary of the relationship between Colombia and my country, which also brought us to participate in the Tango Festival, which is the largest in the world, outside Argentina, and in the Book Festival,” said Ambassador Gustavo Alejandro Dzugala.

Most of the consulates in Medellín are honorary, which means that they only have the mission of representing the country in some events or meetings. The general consuls, as in the case of Peru and now Argentina, will have all the capacity to attend to the needs in migratory matters and documents of the nationals who are in the city, as well as to solve diplomatic and commercial issues between both territories, always under the supervision of the embassies.

This consulate will be the second one to be opened in the capital of Antioquia, after the one in Peru started operating in 2019.

At the end of 2022, Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle signed a memorandum of understanding with Buenos Aires to promote social development, urbanism and innovation, which served to advance the relations of both territories, facilitating actions of greater transcendence to implement with the opening of this new consulate.

Between 2008 and 2022, Argentina’s foreign investment in Medellín has amounted to US$100 million due to the arrival of companies such as Globant, MercadoLibre, Ternium, Acamica and Tecso, among others, which saw in the Antioquian capital a territory with qualified human talent, competitive costs and a culture conducive to business expansion.

The 200th anniversary of the Argentina-Colombia relationship will be celebrated in 2023, for which reason the southern country will be invited to the Tango Festival and the Book Festival, to be held in the second half of the year in the city.

In terms of cooperation, an amount of US$400,000 was reached between 2008 and 2023, in actions related to governance and peace building, educational and cultural transformation, economic development, among others. Most of these cooperation alliances were with Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, with exchanges of best practices under the South-South cooperation modality.

It is expected that with the opening of the consulate, plus the participation of Argentina as a guest country in the Tango Festival and the Book Festival 2023 and the memorandum signed with Buenos Aires in 2022, the cultural, commercial and tourism relationship with one of the most important countries in the continent will be strengthened.

Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero and Argentine Ambassador to Colombia, Gustavo Alejandro Dzugala.
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Medellin, a step forward in investment and development cooperation 2023 trend reports

Trend reports 2023

The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellin, shares the 2023 trend reports on international investment and cooperation as a means to know the factors that will enable partnerships with governments and companies in order to meet the social, economic and environmental objectives of our city.

Every year Medellin increases its international positioning thanks to partnerships with countries around the world that see in our city a model of transformation that led it to become an innovative and resilient territory at a regional and global level.

We hope that these reports on trends in Investment and Financing for Development can add value to people and entities that see in the global strategy an ally to promote their objectives.

Informe de tendencias de financiación para el desarrollo

Informe de tendencias de inversión extranjera directa

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IQor inaugurates its new BPO office in Medellin to expand integrated digital services worldwide

iQor, a provider of managed customer service and business process outsourcing technology solutions, opens its first office in Colombia, located in the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley.

They expect to hire more than 500 employees this year to respond to the growing demand for omnichannel customer service that optimizes the automation of the customer experience and the human experience.

This multinational technology company was born in the United States and today has 40,000 employees spread over 10 countries from where they provide services to companies and governments around the world, and now they will be located in the Viva shopping center with an office of 2,300 mt2 and the presence of more than 500 employees they expect to hire this year.

“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of our new branch in Colombia to respond to the growing demand for omnichannel customer service that optimizes customer experience automation and human experience. We look forward to investing in the local community with great career opportunities and charitable initiatives that build positive connections,” said Gary Praznik, CEO of iQor.

Medellin was chosen for its cutting-edge technology innovation, as well as its highly skilled and digitally savvy bilingual talent.

In addition to the employment opportunities, they were committed to the development of children and adolescents in the territory through the Antioquia Children’s Foundation, to whom they made a first contribution of 10 million pesos.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellín, “today our region celebrates the arrival of a company that in addition to offering valuable employment, is linked to the development of children and adolescents in the territory. We put all the institutional framework of our city at iQor’s service so that they can fulfill their expansion plans and add to the consolidation of Medellin as a Software Valley”.

Those interested in applying for the job offers can apply at apply.iqor.com or visit iQor Colombia’s Facebook page

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Swedish multinational to develop software and it from Medellín

Solutions with artificial intelligence and research. These are some of the software and IT developments that the Swedish multinational Nexer, which decided to settle in Colombia because of the talent and quality of the work of Colombian engineers and developers, will carry out in the country.

The Swedish company, which has more than 2,800 experts in 15 countries in Europe and North America, settled in Medellin, from where it will support global customers with new technologies to offer next-generation IT solutions. “Being in Medellin is a natural step for us to fulfill our vision of a ‘promising future’ and make our customers more successful. This operation allows us to provide a customer-centric delivery model globally,” said Lars Kry, CEO of Nexer Group.

The provision of technological solutions through the implementation of artificial intelligence are part of the knowledge-based activities that the multinational Nexer will do from Colombia, which decided to settle in the country motivated by the talent and quality of work of Colombian engineers and developers. “The Colombian professional has a hallmark that characterizes him and differentiates him from any other in the world, and is that in addition to his training, he always has a willingness, proactivity, the desire to learn and advance, he is agile and passionate” defines Håkan Ahlstedt, Nexer’s manager for Colombia, the main reason that tipped the scales in favor of the country as the headquarters of operations in the region of the multinational.

The company has alliances with leading platform providers such as Microsoft, IBM and Stibo, and is part of the Danir Group, a Swedish firm with 12,000 employees in 18 countries.

It is now looking to hire about 30 professionals in Colombia, according to the demand for talent in scrum master, Java and DevOps positions, among others.

“Its arrival in the country accounts for the solid and growing software and technology services industry that Colombia has, with experience in the development of specialized solutions in different areas. Some examples are fintech, health, agribusiness, energy, logistics, digital marketing, virtual and augmented reality, and big data, segments that have allowed the arrival of various multinationals in cities such as Medellin, Bogota, Cali and Barranquilla,” said Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia, the entity that supported the multinational’s arrival.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of the ACI Medellín, “our city is now consolidated as a Software Valley and as a district of Science, Technology and Innovation where tax benefits, qualified talent and guarantees for growth are offered to international companies that settle in the territory. Receiving a globally recognized company like Nexer makes us feel proud and committed so that they can grow their operations and have the necessary talent to serve their customers globally”.

Colombia has positioned itself as the third largest software market in the region, preceded only by Brazil and Mexico, according to the global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). In fact, among the factors that have influenced the growth of the country’s IT segment is the boom in entrepreneurship and the arrival of new projects and foreign companies.

Between 2003 and 2022, foreign investment in the software and IT sector in Colombia has generated 299 projects, the creation of 259 companies, as well as the estimated creation of more than 24,200 jobs and capital flows of more than US$1,518 million. This is according to reports from FDI Markets. Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Valle del Cauca, Atlántico, and Bogotá have concentrated the largest number of initiatives coming from the United States, Spain, Argentina, Mexico and other markets.

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Delegates from Chongqing, China visited Medellin to promote high-impact economic, social and cultural development for both territories

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between both cities in 2022, more than 20 delegates from Chongqing, China, visited Medellin for two days with the objective of meeting with businessmen, leaders of public and private entities to strengthen economic, social and cultural development.

The delegation was led by Zhang Yuanhong, Deputy Secretary of Yuzhong District, Chongqing and six other officials from this Asian district as well as businessmen, who participated in a meeting with local businessmen and leaders of our district such as the Secretary of Economic Development of Medellin, Mauricio Valencia; the executive director of ACI Medellín, Juan Camilo Mergesh; the regional director of ProColombia Antioquia, María Luisa Duque; the former Colombian ambassador to China, Luis Diego Monsalve; and local businessmen interested in strengthening ties with this city of 30 million inhabitants.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellin, “Chongqing’s vast experience in various fields, its technological development and its entrepreneurial spirit inspire and motivate us to learn and grow together. We are committed to take this opportunity to build bridges and establish a mutually beneficial relationship, promoting economic and social development in both territories”.

A year ago, we celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two territories, an agreement that has provided us with a solid framework for strengthening our economic, cultural and commercial relations. The signing of this memorandum was a significant step towards fostering cooperation and the mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences towards a common future of social, technological, urban and cultural projection.

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Medellín was selected by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for a project that benefits migrants and refugees

With the project “Integrate yourself in the Territories”, the city was selected by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to implement projects that benefit the migrant and refugee population living in the capital of Antioquia.

The donation amounts to $4.75 billion so that the District Administration can implement initiatives to break down the barriers that prevent people in conditions of human mobility from accessing employment, education, socio-cultural integration, entrepreneurship, among other services.

With the funds granted, the proposal will be implemented in eight municipalities for 20 months (until November 30, 2024). The resources will be used for job training, entrepreneurship, legal guidance, psychosocial care, prevention of sexual violence in minors, among others.

The eight prioritized communities are: Popular, Manrique, Aranjuez, Robledo, Villa Hermosa, San Javier, Belén and San Antonio de Prado, as a result of the characterization carried out by the District and international cooperation. These areas have the highest concentration of migrant population, with limited access to basic services and institutional supply.

Attention will focus on health, education, job training, job offers, prevention of gender violence, sexual violence in children and adolescents, legal and psychological counseling, and citizen participation and integration.

Similarly, it seeks to decentralize the offer through the Mobile Classroom of the School for Inclusion, a strategy that will train 720 migrants and refugees in labor and citizenship skills, of which it is planned to support 240 in the search for employment and accompany 480 in strengthening their enterprises.

“For us, as a District, it is important to create strategies that offer adequate attention. For this reason, we are grateful for the allocation of resources made by the Hilton Foundation for the District. These resources will be represented in more benefits to this population. We will be providing more opportunities to make their stay in the city much more welcoming,” said the Secretary of Social Inclusion, Family and Human Rights, Isabel Cristina Cadavid Álvarez.

On the other hand, the resources derived from the donation will be destined to the prevention and attention of sexual violence in minors through the project “The magic of playing is to heal”, which offers integral and humanized attention through play and games. It is estimated to impact around 1,120 children and 280 fathers, mothers and/or caregivers.

In order to guarantee effective access to these services, eight new territorial professionals were added who will follow up on individual cases that cannot be referred immediately, either due to legal or personal issues, in order to provide the respective support and comprehensive care.

This donation is one of the international cooperation milestones with the greatest local impact in recent years, improving the quality of life of migrants and refugees.

“It is a pleasure to announce that the Hilton Foundation has granted $1 million to Medellín for a project that will promote the integration of vulnerable communities in eight communities. We chose the city for its openness and willingness to support the migrant population and their host communities, and we are confident that this project will benefit hundreds of families with their social, economic and cultural integration,” said Marcela González, program officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s refugee initiative.

During this four-year period, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín has benefited more than 113,508 people through strategies such as housing assistance, the 123 migrant module, the opening of the Intégrate center – in coordination with international cooperation – located in the Los Ángeles neighborhood (Calle 59 # 45-53) and the creation of a public policy.

In 2022, the Global Fund of Cities for Migration awarded an award to the District, thanks to the housing assistance initiative, which has benefited more than 2,900 people in conditions of human mobility, guaranteeing them access to a roof over their heads, food and cleaning supplies.

“Currently, I am one of the beneficiaries of the Intégrate Center, they have helped us in the area of entrepreneurship, Intégrate’s services have helped me to promote my audiovisual production company,” said Francisco Fernández, a Venezuelan migrant.

One of the biggest challenges is to ensure that this public has access to formal employment, because until 2022, according to the Second National Report on Inclusive Employment, 92% had informal jobs. Thus, the administration highlights the importance of the articulation with the School for Inclusion and Livelihoods, where counseling, training and courses are offered for future employment.

“We were able to attract the attention and interest of the foundation to continue supporting the work with citizens in vulnerable situations. Thanks to this international cooperation alliance, which is materialized with the donation of one million dollars, we can move forward in the social and economic development of our territory”, expressed the director of ACI Medellín, Juan Camilo Mergesh.

Medellin, as a recipient city, strengthens the comprehensive care of people in conditions of human mobility, in order to ensure a territory of opportunities for all.

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Legal guidelines for investing in Colombia 2023

The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellin in conjunction with the Colombian firm Correa Merino Agudelo, prepared a specialized legal guide for the arrival of investment projects in the country. This publication seeks to help investors understand the legal environment and maximize their investment,

The Legal Guidelines for Investing in Colombia guide is a practical and detailed tool that provides key information on the national legal and regulatory framework. It has been prepared by experts in business law and has been updated in accordance with the latest reforms and regulations. By consulting this guide, you will be able to:

  • Know the procedures necessary to establish a company and the applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
  • International exchange regime according to market types.
  • Obtain information on the incentives and benefits available to foreign investors, as well as the national tax regime.
  • Understand labor laws and aspects related to the hiring of human talent.
  • Understand the mechanisms for the protection of intellectual property rights.

It is worth mentioning that Correa Merino Agudelo is an allied firm that offers its legal and city knowledge to national and international investors interested in establishing their businesses in Medellín in an effective manner in a region that stands out for its infrastructure, access to international markets, highly trained human talent and a business support network that fosters innovation and collaboration; and that also has a strategic location in Latin America, which makes it an attractive logistic and business center for the world.

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30 technology companies arrived from Argentina to learn about the investment ecosystem in Medellín

30 entrepreneurs from Argentina and 20 from Medellín participated in a business roundtable and a forum to reach trade and investment agreements between the two territories.

The agenda included the announcement of the creation of the Argentine Digital Hub in Colombia, which aims to promote the internationalization of the exportable supply of Argentine technology from Colombia to other countries in the region. In addition, as part of the agenda with businessmen, the opening of the Consulate General of Argentina in Medellin was highlighted.

The companies came from the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, Santa Fe and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

This positioning action seeks to promote high value-added innovation projects of Argentine companies in the software sector specialized in government, finance, education, health, cybersecurity, e-commerce and biotechnology, among others, and to generate greater business opportunities for Argentine companies through strategic alliances with their Colombian counterparts.

For the executive director of ICA Medellin, Juan Camilo Mergesh, “this important agenda with businessmen and members of the Argentine public sector becomes a very important step in the economic, cultural and diplomatic relationship of our District with this important country in the region, added to other important milestones announced this year, such as the opening of the Argentine Consulate General in our city, the participation as guest country in the Tango Festival and the Book Festival 2023, and the memorandum signed in 2022 with Buenos Aires”.

The agenda included a program of business meetings, work seminars and visits to companies and institutions of reference, such as Ruta N and Globant. More than 200 meetings were organized with 38 companies in Medellin, over 2 days, in order to promote exports of Argentine companies linked to the Knowledge Economy sectors.

The Ambassador of Argentina in Colombia, Gustavo Dzugala, said: “we accompanied 30 software technology companies and different areas of knowledge, in order to make contact with local companies to undertake joint projects. They come to seek partnerships and set up in Medellín, which is known as a technology hub and has many tools that would be very useful for them to develop their activities here”.

Previously, the Foreign Ministry’s trade intelligence teams detected opportunities for Argentina’s export offer, especially in specialized software in the government, finance, education, health, cybersecurity, e-commerce and biotechnology sectors, among others.

The general manager of the company Encode, from Argentina, Pablo Bonada, said that “the purpose of the trip to Medellin is to learn about all the business opportunities that can be generated by exchanges with the public and private sector of this city. In my company, we are dedicated to software development and we are digital signature certifiers; we are the first private certifiers in the country and we also want to transmit this experience in Medellín”.

The Colombian market represents for Argentine companies an attractive opportunity to generate international business given the advanced development of digital processes in the local economy and its strategic location for the provision of services to different markets.

During the trade mission, working groups on internationalization and exploration of opportunities in Bogota and Medellin were formed, and visits were made to the offices of two Argentine companies based in Colombia -Mercado Libre and Globant- which shared with the delegation their experience in the local Colombian market and its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Between 2008 and 2022, foreign investment from Argentina has been 100 million dollars for the arrival of companies such as Globant, MercadoLibre, Ternium, Acamica and Tecso, among others, which saw in the city a territory with qualified human talent, competitive costs and a culture conducive to business expansion.

In 2023, the 200th anniversary of the Argentina-Colombia relationship will be celebrated, which is why it will be the guest country at the Tango Festival and the Book Festival, to be held in the second half of the year.

In cooperation, Medellín has had a total amount of US$400,000 between 2008 and so far in 2023, in actions related to governance and peace building, educational and cultural transformation, and economic development, among others. Most of these cooperation partnerships were with the city of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, with exchanges of best practices under the South-South cooperation modality.

It is expected that with the announcement of the opening of the Consulate General, added to the participation of Argentina as a guest country at the Tango Festival and the Book Festival 2023, and the memorandum signed in 2022 with Buenos Aires, the cultural, commercial and tourism relationship with one of the most important countries in the continent will be further strengthened.

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Singaporean company invests in Antioquian agriculture

DiMuto, a global Agri-FinTech company, strengthens its presence in Latin America with the recent financing of Colombian fresh produce exporter Montana Fruits. The deal will first see DiMuto leverage its AI-powered financing solution to finance Montana Fruits’ exports to Europe, before expanding into its other export markets such as the United States and Asia.

DiMuto Financial Services provides data-backed, AI-powered trade finance solutions to agri-food companies trading internationally. The solution uses live transactional data on product quality, timeliness and payment status.

For its part, Montana Fruits is a Colombian packer and exporter of high-quality fresh produce, including Hass avocado and tropical fruits such as gulupa and Tahitian lime. The company’s main market is in Europe, with promising markets including the United States and Asia. Montana Fruits processes about 400 containers a year and exports more than $7 million worth of fresh produce.

“We are grateful to have DiMuto as our financial partner. Their expertise, experience and commitment to providing agri-food trade finance is invaluable to our business. With their support, we can continue to grow our export operations and reach new markets,” said Mauricio Moranth Zuluaga, General Manager of Montana Fruits and member of the Board of Directors of the Colombia Avocado Board (CAB).

The data-driven supply chain visibility created by DiMuto also provides meaningful sustainability information through DiMuto’s sustainability management dashboard. With its ability to track every box of produce from field to table, DiMuto can accurately estimate the carbon footprint of agri-food companies. Such data related to sustainability metrics can also be made available to financiers, who can now perform due diligence with data visibility and ensure that invested funds meet sustainability goals.

“Usable data-backed financing is a key focus in DiMuto’s mission to redefine global commerce. We want to ensure we have on-the-ground visibility into the companies we fund as they do good work on their sustainability journey. That’s why we are very pleased to announce the funding agreement with Montana Fruits,” said Gary Loh, founder and CEO of DiMuto.

Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellin, considers that “a company from our region such as Montana Fruits is a perfect example of what can happen when foreign investment and local companies join forces to boost the production and marketing of world-class products such as Hass avocado, Tahiti lime and Gulupa. From ACI Medellin we will continue to support in the best way these alliances that promote economic development and ultimately impact the social welfare of the region where they have an impact”.

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Medellin’s inclusion policies are recognized by the OAS Inter-American Award for Innovation in effective public management

Medellin will be recognized by the “Inter-American Award for Innovation in Effective Public Management”, an initiative of the Department for Effective Public Management (DGPE) of the OAS, whose main objective is to encourage, systematize and promote innovations in public management that are being carried out in the region; with the purpose of contributing to public institutions in the Americas to be increasingly transparent, effective and have mechanisms for citizen participation.

Two strategies of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin will be honored with honorable mentions: the “Suppliers School” in the Innovation in Open Government Category and “Being Able at Home” in the Innovation in Social Inclusion Category.

The certificates will be awarded this April 27 in Denver, Colorado (USA), where the OAS will organize the event “Summit of the Cities of the Americas / Plenary Session: Digital Tools: Improving City Revenues and Public Service Delivery”.

The Suppliers School strategy of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin receives this recognition among 17 innovative experiences pre-selected from a total of 48 applications from nine countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Dominican Republic.

“With the Suppliers School we have trained more than 12,000 suppliers interested in participating in the selection processes with the Mayor’s Office of Medellín. Since 2016 we went from five proponents per process to a record of ten proponents per selection process in this 2022,” expressed the Secretary of Supplies and Services, Karen Delgado Manjarrés.

Since 2020 and to date, the Suppliers School has trained these people in topics and regulatory concepts of public procurement, transparency, management of contracting platforms such as Secop I and Secop II, among others. These sessions have been conducted virtually and in person to offer greater opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs to contract with the State.

Through the virtual trainings, which were implemented as a result of the pandemic, the Suppliers School has expanded nationwide, reaching different regions of the country. Entities such as the Mayor’s Office of Cali and the Mayor’s Office of Curití (Santander), as well as the Éxito Group, among others, have connected to the trainings to learn about these topics, as well as about the District’s contracting model, which is a reference in the country.

“The Supplier School trainings have been very good, because they teach us how to submit bids to the District of Medellín and to all entities in general. They promote transparency because they allow us to participate in open competition with other participants in the calls for bids. We can see that there is transparency and that there is a way to win a bid”, said Julio Humberto Ruiz Vélez, one of the attendees at the Suppliers School.

Meanwhile, the Ser Capaz en Casa project was recognized for being a strategy that promotes access to rights, the elimination of barriers and the reduction of inequalities for people in vulnerable situations, in an inclusive and equitable manner, with the objective of positively transforming their living conditions.

During the four-year period, Ser Capaz en Casa has served more than 3,700 users. In addition, it promotes, from an educational and biopsychosocial approach, the strengthening of individual and family capacities through support from areas such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, nursing, oral hygiene, dentistry, social work, psychology and pedagogy, reaching the users’ places of residence and bringing the institutional presence to them.

The care process carries out actions at the individual, family, community and social levels, through the identification of needs and the activation of routes to guarantee rights, contributing significantly to the quality of life and the elimination of barriers for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, through interdisciplinary work and bringing the supply of services in the 16 districts and the five townships of the District.

“Ser Capaz en Casa has helped me a lot with their rehabilitation service. They have helped me to know my rights, to keep them in mind because I did not know them. They have taught me exercises with which I have improved my disability condition and the economic support I also receive thanks to them,” said Aicardo de Jesús Escobar Quintero, beneficiary of the Ser Capaz en Casa project of the Disability Team.

Applying for international awards is an effective strategy for positioning the city of Medellín in the global market as a model of successful public management. The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area (ACI Medellin) has used this strategy to highlight innovative policies and projects that have been implemented in the city and have had a positive impact on the quality of life of citizens.

The international awards allow Medellín to gain global recognition and improve its image abroad. In addition, the awards can serve as a tool to attract foreign investment, tourism, and other resources that contribute to the economic and social development of the city.

ACI Medellín has been very active in nominating the city for different international awards, such as the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in Singapore, the Global Smart Cities Award in Barcelona, and the Dubai International Best Practices Award, among others. These awards recognize cities that have implemented innovative policies and projects in areas such as sustainability, innovation, social inclusion, security, among others, and allow Medellin to stand out as a leading city in public management in Latin America and the world.

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Medellín will receive funding from the United Kingdom, with the support of C40 Cities, to implement flagship climate action projects

Medellin is among the 15 cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia that will receive support from the United Kingdom and C40 Cities to implement programs to mitigate Greenhouse Gases in the District, through projects of the 2020-2023 Development Plan that are focused on reducing the carbon footprint in the city.

Technical assistance for energy efficiency will be focused on the solar panel projects under line K of the metrocable and the Urban Air Protected Zone – ZUAP in the downtown.

The solar panel project under the K line of the Metrocable and the Urban Air Protected Zone (ZUAP) will receive technical assistance from the UKAID-CAI Program, with an investment of close to US$1 million. The assistance will run through December 2025.

“Thanks to the entire C40 group that allows this to have a giant impact on millions of citizens who live in this Medellín, which is obviously impacted by climate change. This will allow us to breathe better air, especially in the downtown city; that several areas of the city, especially the K line near the commune 13, have solar energy that will reduce the climate impact that we are generating on the planet; and especially in EPM will allow it to be at the forefront, to advance in the purpose of producing green hydrogen that will serve to grow EPM, but also to improve the conditions of the planet to address climate change, “said the mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero Calle.

The ZUAP project, promoted by the district administration, seeks to reduce CO2 emissions generated in the city center, one of the areas most affected by air quality, through actions such as pedestrianization of some roads, charging electric bicycles and charging for vehicle congestion, among other measures.

C40 Cities and the British Embassy in Colombia support with this new milestone the strategy of turning Medellín into an Ecocity.

The solar panels under the Metrocable K line will be installed on the roofs of homes and public buildings located in the neighbors down the Metrocable, which generates an economic benefit to families by generating their own energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

From left to right, Andrea Fernández, C40 Director of Climate Planning, Finance and Partnerships; George Hodgson, UK Ambassador to Colombia; Daniel Quintero Calle, Mayor of Medellín; and Victor Giraldo, EPM Director of Business Development Cooperation.

This pilot project means democratizing and making clean energy inclusive, bringing it to areas of the city that have been marginalized for decades, and this type of project is a vehicle for building bridges of peace and reconciliation.

The program’s budget for city support is approximately $1 million.

“Today we are launching a new partnership with Medellín in terms of our common action on climate change, which consists of a program of measures to improve air quality and reduce the production of greenhouse gases. From the British Government’s point of view, Medellín is a strategic city, it has shown leadership in this fight and is sharing its experience with other cities, not only in the region but around the world,” said George Hodgson, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Colombia,

This international cooperation action will also facilitate British companies to share their experience with EPM to develop projects for the production of green hydrogen and reduce Greenhouse Gases.

“The support will be for two programs here in Medellin: first is to promote the ZUAP, which is a very innovative project in Colombia and in this region, and to bring clean energy to an area that has had its period of violence in the past, but now has a very attractive future. We are very grateful for the support of the British government and are happy to be able to collaborate with the city of Medellin on these innovative programs,” explained Andrea Fernandez, C40’s Director of Climate Planning, Finance and Partnerships.

The United Kingdom is committed to the implementation of climate actions through the drastic reduction of greenhouse gases, this is reflected in the funding of programs that are being advanced in the city, such as the UKAID-CAI program, for the implementation phase of the Medellin 2020-2050 Climate Action Plan and technical assistance for green hydrogen with Empresas Publica de Medellin.

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itel, an international data science company landing on our Software Valley

Since October 2021, this Jamaican company installed an innovation laboratory in Medellin to offer data science services in its different stages (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive), reporting of financial indicators and operational performance with its due analytics, innovation through software development or process robotics.

For Leonardo Borges, Country Manager of the company, “Medellin is positioned as the innovation hub in the region and has the best human talent that combines excellent human skills, along with high demand technical skills such as data science. In addition, we found a good supply of people who are fluent in English, which allows for an ideal interaction with our headquarters in Jamaica and with our clients in the United States”.

The company operates in the United States, Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, Guyana, St. Lucia, and Colombia. In Medellín, the company currently employs around 30 people with profiles in engineering, learning and talent development, digital marketing and user experience.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellin, “the arrival of a company like itel to our city, shows the added value we have to offer with a geographical location, time zone and qualified human talent and that are key reasons for companies around the world, especially in the technology sector, continue to prefer us”.

The geographic location, especially the proximity to the United States and other important economies such as Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, the supply of qualified and bilingual human talent and the institutional support from ACI Medellin and Ruta N, are key factors for companies from all sectors to continue arriving year after year to set up their operations in our city and its metropolitan area.

Iván Castaño, director of Ruta N, assured that “we continue working to make Medellín the city where it is easiest to innovate, undertake and grow in the country. That is why the landing of companies like itel strengthen the ecosystem of Science, Technology and Innovation, contributing to economic growth and employability that generates quality of life. We are already supporting itel with talent connection strategies, coworking space in Ruta N, and access to training licenses in partnership with Udemy”.

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The Colombian-Chinese Chamber boosts the economic development of Medellin with the opening of its new office

With the presence of Colombian and Chinese businessmen, personalities from the public and diplomatic sectors of Medellin and Antioquia, the official opening event of the Colombian-Chinese Chamber of Investment and Commerce was held in our city with the aim of promoting trade and business relations between both territories.

For Ingrid Chaves, executive director of the Colombian-Chinese Chamber, “with this opening event we welcome all entrepreneurs and members of the productive sector to join the new headquarters of the Chamber in Medellin to share more of the culture, economy and development that China can offer to this city”.

This Colombian-Chinese institution was created in 2010 by the Colombian Pacific Foundation, the National Association of Colombian Businessmen (ANDI), the National Federation of Merchants (FENALCO), the Society of Farmers of Colombia (SAC), the Ambassador on Special Mission for Expo Shanghai 2010 and a distinguished group of businessmen, with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombia, the Embassy of Colombia in China, as well as the National Government with the objective of bringing the territories closer together in commercial and economic matters.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellin, “with the arrival of this binational entity, the relationship with a country that has been an ally in the development of the entire region is strengthened, and that in Medellin has bet from investment and cooperation in key commercial, political, academic, cultural and tourism points. Today we celebrate one more achievement within this relationship that recently left us another milestone as the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Chongqing seeking to deepen strategies to become a Smart City and issues of sustainability and urbanism.”

With more than 40 years of diplomatic relations between both nations, several trade and cooperation agreements, today we can celebrate this new milestone for the attraction of Chinese companies to our region, as well as enhance the relationship that entrepreneurs from our city may have in this Asian giant.

In the last 10 years, Chinese investments in the city have reached a total amount of USD 182 million and the generation of 465 jobs from 8 investment projects. Likewise, the donation made by Shanghai and Chongqing of 16 thousand medical supplies including safety suits, masks and nitrile gloves in 2020 to face the Covid-19 pandemic is highlighted.

With this announcement we reiterate the good moment and the confidence that businessmen of the world have in Medellin as a pole of development, innovation and commercial and economic growth not only in Colombia but throughout the region.



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Todoservy, an ecuadorian company that projects its development for the entire region from Medellín

This technology company has decided to start its expansion in the region from Medellin where they are forming a team of 10 people to serve the other countries of the continent.

For Juan Sarmiento, CEO and founder of TodoServy, “we moved to Medellin, because we are convinced that there is a great need for our platform and its benefits that will help local companies, professionals and workers to modernize their operations and be prepared to better serve their consumers; additionally, we can count on quality human talent in technology areas for the growth of our company.”

TodoServy works as a premium online directory to search, compare, comment, book and pay for services from local businesses and professionals; in short, to find any business or service they need with the right information and a universal and unified directory.

Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of ACI Medellín, affirms that “the arrival of TodoServy to our city is evidence of the good moment our city is going through in terms of economic development, offering companies from different sectors and countries the possibility of finding talent, competitive costs and a thriving city where doing business is part of the cultural DNA”.

The company’s growth plan aims to reach 50% of the entire operation from Medellín, surpassing Ecuador, its country of origin, and thus quickly reach markets throughout Colombia and other countries in the region.

For Iván Castaño, executive director of Ruta N, the arrival of Todoservy represents a great opportunity for the city: “It strengthens the Science, Technology, and Innovation District by offering a platform to connect local businesses and entrepreneurs with new clients. From the Corporation we are supporting them in connecting with the digital talent of Medellín”.

One of the main functionalities of the platform in both its free and premium versions is online scheduling, where end clients can easily check availability and schedule a service.

In the medium term, the company plans to open markets in Central America, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela, among others, operating the central level from Medellín and Ecuador with about 20 people who are now part of its main plant. Finally, businesses and entrepreneurs can access a free month of Todoservy’s premium plan in its launching stage.

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Medellin received 20 congressmen of the Andean Parliament for their ordinary sessions

Parliamentarians from Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia held their ordinary sessions of the Andean Parliament in our city between February 23 and 25. Since 2018 the city had not received this prestigious Andean institution to discuss issues related to the transformation of the region.

The parliamentarians had the meetings by commissions talking about issues of technology, internationalization, sustainability, energy and economy, among many others. They also participated in the International Forum on Solidarity Economy and Cooperativism, a space to exchange experiences of different actors in the sector, as well as problems and proposals for lines of work to strengthen the development of the popular and solidarity economy and cooperativism at national and international level.

For Juan Camilo Mergesh, executive director of the ACI Medellín, “the Andean Parliament has become a vital body for debating laws and strengthening Andean and Latin American integration, as well as sharing good practices of each of the countries that make it up. For this reason, I am proud that they have chosen Medellín to hold the ordinary sessions and also to make city tours especially in renewable and sustainable energy projects, something that we can teach other territories in the region and the world.”

The congressmen’s agenda included meetings with the Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, EPM executives, District Councilors and a tour of EPM’s facilities and a visit to the Guatapé hydroelectric project.

Speech by Gloria Flórez, President of the Andean Parliament

The Andean Parliament was created in 1979 in Bolivia, as an instance of political control of the Andean Integration System whose mission is to harmonize the laws of the region; guarantee citizen participation; strengthen Andean and Latin American integration; regionalize good government practices and State policies; as well as strengthen Andean identity and culture.

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18 airlines enable the best air connectivity in Medellín’s history

Medellín has the best air connectivity in its history, thanks to the work done by the District Administration to promote new routes that expand the connection with the world. The city has 13 international routes to 19 cities and 29 domestic destinations with direct flights.

In 2022, the Antioquian capital had the best hotel occupancy in its history with 77%.

“One of the reasons why tourists from around the world prefer a destination is because of air connectivity; that is why we have worked to make it easier to reach the city, hand in hand with the private sector, working to connect us with more and more cities in the world. We went from 12 cities to 19; we are much more connected so that our tourists and businessmen can be linked to our offer and enjoy Medellín. In 2022 we had the best year in visits, an unprecedented figure, and in 2023 we expect more than 1,500,000 people to arrive,” said the Secretary of Economic Development, Mauricio Valencia.

The city has 13 international routes to 19 cities and 29 domestic destinations with direct flights.

The Antioquian capital recorded an increase of more than 45% of passengers since 2019 when there were 929,830; in 2020, in pandemic, there were 305,347; in 2021, the figure was 786,730, and last year, with a historic tourist reactivation, there were a total of 1,386,153 travelers. The 10 countries where visitors come from are the United States, Panama, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile and Ecuador.

Medellin has 13 international routes to destinations such as Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Spain, United States, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Dominican Republic; 19 cities including Oranjestad, Balboa, Buenos Aires, Cancun, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale, Havana, Lima, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Orlando, Panama City, Punta Cana, San Jose, Santiago de Chile, Santo Domingo and Sao Paulo; and 18 airlines: Aeromexico, Air Europa, American, Arajet, Avianca, Copa, Easy, Ez air, Jet air, Jet Blue, Jetsmart, Latam, Sarpa, Satena, Spirit, Ultra, Viva and Wingo.

In addition, there are direct flights to 29 destinations in Colombia, including Arauca, Armenia, Bahía Solano, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Carepa, Cartagena, Corozal, Cúcuta, Florencia, Ibagué, Manizales, Mompox, Montería, Neiva, Nuquí, Pasto, Pereira, Popayán, Quibdó, Riohacha, San Andrés, Santa Marta, Tolú, Valledupar, Villavicencio and Yopal.

“We have seen Colombia as a strategic partner. On this occasion we are talking about Medellín, one of the destinations that undoubtedly becomes a pillar for Arajet, since the Dominican Republic and Colombia have been building a commercial and tourism relationship. Now, with Arajet, we are uniting Santo Domingo with Medellín, which will contribute to culture, tourism and entrepreneurship”, said Arajet’s CEO, Víctor Pacheco.

According to the Annual Statistical Report of the Hotel and Tourism Association of Colombia (COTELCO), hotel occupancy in 2022 was the highest in the city’s history, at 77%, establishing that 53.1% of guests were foreigners and 46.9% nationals. The vast majority of passengers stay more than 4 nights in the city; 22.1 % of visitors stay between 4 and 5 nights; 21.1 % between 6 and 7 nights; 15.4 %, about 22 nights or more and 14.1 % stay between 14 and 21 nights. The remaining percentage stays between 1 and 3 nights.

In March, Avianca Airlines is expected to open a new route to Quito and Guayaquil, thus continuing to connect Medellín with the entire world and facilitating the arrival of more than 1,500,000 people by 2023.

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ACI Medellín announces the appointment of Juan Camilo Mergesh as the new executive director of the entity

Juan Camilo Mergesh is a lawyer from the Universidad Externado de Colombia and has a Master’s degree in Law, Economics and Management from the University of Paris II Panthon-Assas in France, with a professional profile oriented to the preparation and structuring of public contracts, concessions and public-private partnerships in public development projects.

“I put at the disposal of ACI Medellin my knowledge and experience acquired within a law firm specialized in public procurement in Bogota, as well as my work experience in France, initially with the management of the company TRACTEBEL S.A. – ENGIE, where I participated in the negotiation, drafting and legal monitoring of project management in France and non-French speaking countries, and then within the firms GB2A lawyers and G4 lawyers, where I assisted in the structuring and legal closure of civil engineering projects in France,” said Juan Camilo, new executive director of ACI Medellin.

Mergesh, receives ACI Medellin with successful results in 2022 in cooperation and investment with indicators that include the attraction of USD $ 148 million in foreign companies that generated about 3,500 new jobs and USD $ 7.4 million in technical and financial cooperation for projects related to the townships, street dwellers, among many others.

One of the highlights in 2022 corresponded to the technical cooperation announced by the C40 Network for the development of Parques del Río Norte, a project that will change the face of the Popular and Santa Cruz neighborhoods and will benefit more than 390,000 people.

“I am part of a common dream of making our city a pole of development and innovation that will lead us to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, always aiming to close the inequality gaps by generating employment opportunities, development and modernization. I am happy to put my knowledge and experience at the service of Medellín and the region,” concluded the new director.

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Medellin is officially a District of Science, Technology and Innovation in Colombia.

This Monday, November 16, the President of the Republic, Gustavo Petro, sanctioned Law 2286 of 2023 that officially converts Medellin as the Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia, which allows boosting the city as one of the cities with the highest economic performance in the region, positioning it at national and international level, having technology as the engine of transformation.

With the Law, the District of Medellín will grant tax exemptions for the promotion of science, technology and innovation activities to technology-based companies that settle in the city.

With this new law, Medellín is endowed with the competencies and legal resources to establish its political, administrative and fiscal regime, in addition to promoting its integral development by taking advantage of the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“This grants tax benefits to companies that are created or move to our territory to develop Software companies, technology companies. In addition, it provides more autonomy that will allow us to invest resources, with a CTeI fund, in education, social issues, health issues,” said the mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero Calle.

There will be direct access, without intermediaries, to international resources through International Cooperation.

In addition, the law authorizes the District Council to create the Pro-Innovation Stamp to finance the Science, Technology and Innovation System, at the initiative of the district mayor.

Medellín will now be able to define Special Treatment Zones to strengthen and facilitate all types of activities focused on Science, Technology and Innovation, enhancing sectors and seeking urban renewal, high accessibility, connectivity and reindustrialization.

“The law will allow us to advance in our great bet of Medellin Software Valley and that is making that, not only thousands of people study information technologies in the city, but even that many are moving to the city. That is why the invitation is: if you are a technology lover, this is your city; if you are a company and want to find the best place in Latin America to set up, Medellín is the right place because Everything Flourishes Here”, added the district governor.

Medellín will have more autonomy over the resources of the Nation in health and education issues, including procedures in the departmental entity.

In 2022, the Congress approved in the plenary session of the Senate the Organic Law, which regulated the functioning of the city as a Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation. Among other provisions is the renaming of local authorities from municipal to district, in addition to allowing the city to count on the participation of Innpulsa and the Ministries of Information Technology and Communications, Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Education for a direct articulation of the District Government with the National Government.

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In the last year, Medellín has attracted close to USD $ 148 million in foreign investment.

During the last year, through the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area -ACI Medellin-, the city reported a total of 20 foreign investment projects, which represented close to USD $ 148 million and 3,500 new jobs generated, thanks to the previous year’s efforts to attract resources from abroad.

20 international companies set up in the capital of Antioquia to expand their operations, including Farmatodo, Dollarcity, Positive Thinking, Concentrix, Sana Commerce, Fresh Works, Rootstrap, Rush and Genius Sport.

For the director of Local and International Relations of ACI Medellin, Jonathan Ballesteros, “2022 was a year in which investment and cooperation went from being an important issue to become fundamental allies for the development of the city. I must highlight that more than 500 delegates from countries such as Spain, Denmark, Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, France and Belgium, among many others, have come to Medellín to learn first-hand about the projects that are transforming us into an Ecocity and a Software Valley, in order to replicate them in their territories.”

In the year 2022, ACI Medellin celebrated 20 years of existence in which USD $ 3.4 billion in investment have been managed, with more than 200 companies installed and close to 25. Likewise, in international cooperation, it has managed, in these two decades, more than USD $ 115 million in projects such as CITRA (Integrated Transportation Center), which was recently completed and left the city a modern information system that allows improving mobility, thanks to an agreement with South Korea, which became the largest cooperation project, with USD $ 12 million.

Ambassadors, ministers and more than 500 delegates from different parts of the world visited the city projects and opened up possibilities for investment and cooperation.

The manager of the Medellin branch of Lean Solutions Group, William Garrido, stated that “the growth of the company in Medellin has been quite accelerated, surpassing the barrier of 200 employees before the first year and a projection for mid-2023 to occupy 350 or 360. We have every confidence to occupy the position of the best city for the company in the whole country”.

One of the highlights of this year is the technical cooperation announced by the C40 Network for the development of Parques del Río Norte, a project that will change the face of the Popular and Santa Cruz districts and will benefit more than 390,000 people.

This year, Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle participated in the world forum of C40 mayors in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in which he gave a message to the world to stop the production of gasoline cars from 2035, a signal that was very well received at the event.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with cities such as Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Recife will increase the exchange of best practices and technical cooperation and investment between these territories and Medellin.

In national and international technical and financial cooperation, USD $ 7.4 million were reported.

As a result of this work with cities around the world, ten “Why Medellin” events were held this year with businessmen from Spain, Dubai, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and the United States, in which the reasons why the capital of Antioquia is a safe and reliable destination for companies from other countries were made known.

Barcelona continues to be Medellín’s sister city. An example of this is the Barcelona Solidaria program, which supported 13 projects with close to 1.1 million euros, including Rutas de Siembra, executed in partnership with Antioqueños por el Mundo and Comfenalco, a project that serves farmers in the Santa Elena district.

The entity’s management through international relations has a direct impact on development, as evidenced by the Return on Investment (ROI) indicator, which shows that for every peso that enters the ACI Medellin budget, COP $ 14 is managed in cooperation and COP $ 186 in investment, in addition to the results that are not accounted for in financial resources, but in job creation, for example.

The agency’s work for the arrival of new cooperation and investment projects begins with the identification of countries, companies, public or private entities, international networks, among others, that are interested in working with Medellín or investors seeking to settle in the territory.

Once the investment or cooperation project is installed, the resources are used to build the necessary infrastructure for its operation, hiring personnel and the arrival of people from other countries who will come to live alone or with their families, which stimulates tourism, housing, education, transportation and food, among others.

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