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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Innovecs opens in Medellin its first office for Latin America

The US company opened its first Latin American office in Medellin to serve its clients in Europe and North America. In the short and medium term, they plan to have a team of 50 developers for Unity 3D, full-stack, backend, .NET, Automation QA, and provide other career opportunities for engineers in various projects.

Innovecs is a digital transformation company that creates solutions driven by innovative technologies and incorporates emerging trends to help businesses transform and grow; they create from scratch and customize the tools to make their products enterprise-scale.

The major reasons why they settled in Medellin are the abundant talent with great potential and attitude to work and a will to be part of international companies; the mastery of a second language such as English; the kind-heartedness and striving to work with people; the easy adaptation to rapidly changing environments in technology companies, and especially, the robust promotion of the IT talent training by governments and private organizations.

The development of a solid base of experts allowed Innovecs to transform from a team of several people to a trusted player in the software development industry, as well as to open offices in the United States, Europe, Israel, Ukraine, Australia, and now in Medellin.

Alex Lutskiy, the Founder and CEO of Innovecs, mentions that “the main driver of the company’s development is the community of 850 gifted team members worldwide who provide technology competency services to our clients, in addition to a specific organizational culture focused on the people’s well-being and a community-based ecosystem approach”.

For him, the Colombian IT sector proves itself in application development, game development, mobile application development, and other custom software products, which are closely aligned with the company’s services. “Colombia has one of the highest rates of engineering graduates in LATAM and also a booming technology scene with the fastest growing IT sector in Latin America”, — he says.

Finally, for Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations of ACI Medellin, “Innovecs belongs to foreign companies that are seeing our city as a strategic destination for installing their operations due to the abundant talent, strategic location, air connectivity and of course the warmness of our people. Apart from technology companies, businesses from other sectors such as infrastructure, commerce, and life sciences see this region as the epicenter of the operations at a local and international level.”

In its 20 years of existence, ACI Medellin has drawn over 200 enterprises and close to 3.5 billion dollars in investment with companies such as Farmatodo, Mercado Libre, Dollarcity, Pricesmart, Decathlon, Sofasa Renault, and many others. This reflects how the articulated collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors bears fruit for society. 

* Photographs of work teams in other parts of the world

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Talent from our Comuna 13 arrives to one of the best technology companies in the world

Johan Herrera, an inhabitant of the San Javier neighborhood in the Comuna 13 of Medellin, tells us how he became a Senior Developer at Endava, one of the most recognized technology companies worldwide, currently operating in Bogota, Medellin and Cali since 2016.

This company born in London, England in 2000, has more than 10 thousand employees worldwide, of which more than 1000 are in Colombia. These “Endavans”, as they call their employees, come to the company seduced by the good reputation of the company in addition to the training plans and support offered for their development.

Alajandra Arango, Andaba Senior Tester
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Medellin shared with Brazil the best practices that consolidate it as an international benchmark for Smart Tourist Destinations

For its innovation, technology, sustainability, governance and accessibility, Medellin is a leader and benchmark in the Americas for its management model for Smart Tourist Destinations, according to SEGITTUR, the Spanish entity that certifies this type of destinations worldwide. For this reason, the capital of Antioquia received the visit of a delegation composed of 20 delegates from Brazil belonging to the governmental, academic and business sectors, with the objective of learning, through knowledge transfer, the good practices of the city as a Smart Tourist Destination.

Between 2021 and 2022, Medellin has led more than 40 knowledge transfer sessions with cities in Colombia and other countries in the Americas.

The group learned about Medellín’s Smart Tourism certification process, its achievements and challenges. Also, they learned about tourism applications such as Medellín Travel (the official travel guide) and Medellín City Card (the digital passport for parks and attractions), and visited the Smart Tourism Center (first in the country).

“We are very pleased to be able to share with our friends from Brazil all the knowledge around what is the transformation of the smart tourism information system and what we have been doing to position Medellín as the first Smart Tourism Destination in Colombia,” said the Undersecretary of Tourism, Ledys López.

Between 2021 and 2022, more than 40 benchmarking sessions have been held, in which good practices were shared and knowledge was transferred to cities in Colombia and other countries in the Americas. In them, actions such as training focused on smart tourism destination, the stimulus program for sustainability, the reactivation of the tourism sector and the tourism culture strategy, among others, have been highlighted.

“I have come from Brazil to learn more about tourism development here in the city of Medellin. We came with the commission to learn how Medellin has formed a Smart City and a Smart Tourism Destination. I am looking forward to going back to Brazil with the good practices I am learning about here to put them into practice and turn them into projects in my province, Paraná, and in the south of Brazil, and develop smart tourism as they are doing here”, said Patricia Albanez, representative of the Brazilian Government.

About 65 entities have participated in the process of making Medellin the first Intelligent Tourism Destination in Colombia, including public, private, mixed, guilds and tourism service providers, which have provided information on the projects, programs and activities being developed.

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Medellín emerges as the it development capital of Latin America

The technology industry is currently accelerating economic growth and job development in the world. In Colombia, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) GDP grew 10% during the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. Following that route, Medellin has moved forward with its “Medellin Software Valley” strategy, with which it seeks to become the epicenter city of this industry in Latin America.

Along with this article you can download the full report of the ACI Medellin and Technology by PageGroup in English. [ Here ]

According to the study “Medellin, capital of IT development in Latin America” conducted by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin – ACI Medellin and Technology by PageGroup – Business Unit specialized in recruiting profiles for technology companies – the software and Information Technology (IT) services sector represents 6% of the total amount of foreign investment and has generated more than 10,800 jobs in the city, from 98 investment projects.

IT development in Medellín

Medellin is the only Colombian city recognized as a Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation (C.T.I. District), it is also home to the first Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4RI) in Latin America and has the Ruta N Innovation and Business Center, which leads the economic transformation of the territory towards knowledge-based businesses. The city also has the most ambitious public policy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Colombia, investing 2.45% of its GDP in STI activities.

According to the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin – ACI Medellin and Technology by PageGroup, the software and IT services sector represents 6% of the total amount of foreign investment and has generated more than 10,800 jobs in Medellin.

According to the ACI Medellín and Technology by PageGroup study, the type of activities and operations that IT services companies develop in the city are mainly based on: software development and provision of associated services (86%), data processing (7%), Fintech (4%) and Edtech (3%). In addition, the main countries investing in these services are the United States (49%) and to a lesser extent Spain, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and the United Kingdom.

Medellin has the most ambitious public policy for Science, Technology and Innovation in the country, investing 2.45% of its GDP in STI activities.

In this sense, the investment projects that are installed in Medellin are mainly for nearshoring, or outsourcing, providing support to the companies’ current clients, as well as the establishment of strategic alliances with local companies or the establishment of their own operations for the development of new solutions in the Latin American market. Consequently, the training of human talent in hybrid skills and work methodologies such as agile are essential for the development of this sector.


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Parques del Río Norte receive international support for implementation from C40 network

The Parques del Río Norte project, one of the most important projects within the Medellín Futuro Development Plan, will receive international cooperation for its execution. The C40 Cities (Climate Leadership Group) and the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) have set their eyes on this project because they consider it an urban reference that will not only improve people’s quality of life, but will also contribute to the sustainability and conservation of the environment.

Parques del Río Norte will change the face of the communities of Popular and Santa Cruz and will benefit more than 390,000 people.

The international alliance was sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle and representatives of C40 and GIZ. The agreement will allow for technical support for the entire project and support Medellín in obtaining economic resources for its financing.

“Our Development Plan bets on a different vision and Medellín, the one of the future, which is an exercise of resistance to the processes that led us to become the city of no future. This space will not only create 300,000 square meters of green spaces, it will be a meeting place to finally put an end to all wars, to recognize ourselves again as brothers and to concentrate all of us united hand in hand in moving Medellín forward,” said Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle.

The C40 Cities (Climate Leadership Group) and the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) have their eyes on the project for its contribution to environmental conservation. The international alliance was sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the District of Medellín, C40 and GIZ.

This agreement is possible thanks to the Cities Financing Facility (CFF), a program funded by the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom and France, and jointly implemented by C40 and GIZ. In April 2021, the call was opened to support cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to mobilize funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. As well as Medellin, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Brazil), Lima (Peru) and Bogota were other beneficiary cities.

“Medellín is a clear example of how cities are leading at the regional level an inclusive and innovative response to the climate emergency and the other crises we have had to live through during these years such as the Covid-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by the city’s key role as a regional representative in the working group of mayors for a green and just recovery,” said Cristina Argudo, interim deputy regional director for Latin America at C40.

This collaboration will have some important working points such as support in the technical development and technological evaluation of the project; the creation of business models and financing structures; and support for accessing international resources. In addition, there will be an exchange of lessons learned with other cities in the world regarding the challenges in terms of infrastructure to face climate change.

Currently, for the execution of Parques del Río Norte, the District is making progress in the land management (43%) and environmental management (14%) required for the first phase of the project, which will allow the construction of 70,000 square meters of public space. The physical work is expected to begin in the first days of 2023 and will include the adaptation of green areas, the construction of bike paths, the installation of urban planning and the construction of pedestrian walkways. An investment of more than $62.7 billion is planned for this first stage.

“Parques del Río Norte will be a work that will bring opportunities, quality of life and development to those who live in that area. We are finalizing design details to put out to contract the first polygon of this first stage, which will be approximately 26,000 square meters. Receiving the trust of such important and qualified international actors shows us that we are doing things right and that we are on the right path to make Medellín an Eco-city”, added the Secretary of Physical Infrastructure, Natalia Urrego Arias.

Parques del Río Norte will benefit more than 390,000 people and will transform communes 1 (Popular) and 2 (Santa Cruz), which make up one of the most densely populated sectors in Latin America. There, the current rate of public space per inhabitant is 1.5 square meters, far from the 15 square meters recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Medellin plans to build 5 more metrocables

After a meeting between the Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, and the Minister of Transportation, Guillermo Reyes González, the District Administration will sign an agreement with the National Government for resources ranging between $3.5 and 4 billion, for the construction of five metrocables that the city will have and that will benefit, including inhabitants of the municipalities of Itagüí and La Estrella.

“That means more resources for the city. With the Metropolitan Area we have just reached an agreement, which we are about to materialize, for $37,000 million for the designs. Metrocables there will be in La Estrella and Itagüí, two in the northeast, one for the inhabitants of Robledo. In Poblado we will have a kind of mini-train that will go up from Poblado station through Loma de Los Parra to Aguas Vivas in Las Palmas. This will be one of the biggest bets in mobility in the city”, said the mayor during the Government Council.

The mayor also highlighted that during the meeting, the River Train was discussed, where the Nation will provide 70% of the resources, which will allow more mobility options for the people of Antioquia.

Likewise, the possibility of building a second runway at the José María Córdova Airport in Rionegro was discussed, strategies were structured so that the Olaya Herrera Airport becomes a park of more than one million square meters, and an airport is built in San Pedro de Los Milagros and another one in Santa Fé de Antioquia.

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ACI Medellín, 20 years connecting our region with the world

The president of the Medellin Council, Lucas Cañas, presented a distinction in a Style Note to the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area as a token of appreciation for an entity that plays a leading role in the development of the entire territory through investment and cooperation with the world.

“Today, being present in the heart of democracy, we receive a tribute with immense joy and also with great responsibility. This city is very much loved and this moves us in our work; we are aware that in every day of work we are contributing so that many people of the city can improve their quality of life through international cooperation and investment, which is the slogan that marks our work route”, emphasized Jonathan Ballesteros, director of relations of ACI Medellin, during his speech at the Council.

In these 20 years of ACI Medellin’s history, has reported 3.4 billion dollars in investment and more than 117 million dollars in international cooperation, estimating the creation of some 25 thousand jobs thanks to all this.

During the award ceremony, the president of the Council, Lucas Cañas, emphasized in his speech to city executives and ACI Medellin officials present at the event, “you are the rudder and compass of Medellin’s internationalization strategy; therefore, as president of the Council, I recognize the value of ACI Medellin for the city, you are crucial for the improvement of the lives of citizens”.

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With more than 3.4 billion dollars in foreign investment and more than 25,000 jobs created by attracted companies, ACI Medellín celebrates 20 years of international cooperation history

With more than 3.4 billion dollars in investment and more than 25 thousand jobs created by 200 foreign companies, the International Cooperation Agency of Medellin celebrates 20 years of history attracting global markets and investment companies to the city. During these two decades, companies such as WeWork, MercadoLibre, Pepsico, Renault, Holcim, Casino, Globant, Accenture, Concentrix and Endava have decided to bet on the growth of their operations in the city.

More than 200 international companies have arrived in the city, including Decathlon, Marriot, Dollarcity and Farmatodo. The jobs were generated by companies from different countries around the world that have relied on Medellín to establish their operations.

For Jonathan Ballesteros, director of relations for ACI Medellín, “a living example of what the agency has done in its history was experienced less than a year ago at the event ‘Medellín and its International Allies’, in which we brought together, in person, more than 300 high-level guests, including ambassadors, mayors, representatives of multilateral and cooperation organizations, and businessmen from around the world, to learn about projects of the Medellín Development Plan. In addition, so far this year we have attended 370 international delegates, generating more than 600 thousand dollars in economic benefits for the city, in addition to possible approaches for cooperation and investment”.

In 20 years, ACI Medellin has visited more than 50 cities around the world with the event “Why Medellin?”, which has invited more than 800 entrepreneurs to come and meet the city and install their investment projects in the Software Valley. China, South Korea, France, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Israel and Spain are some of the territories visited in person with the mission of bringing the city closer to the rest of the world.

Currently, foreign investment can be seen in the streets of Medellín with stores such as Dollarcity, which has 15 branches; Farmatodo, which in less than two years has added six stores, and Decathlon with three; in addition to hotels such as Marriot, Ibis, Estelar and Accor, among others.

The Ayacucho Tramway and the CITRA (Integrated Transportation Center) have been some of the projects that have generated the greatest impact, thanks to international cooperation.

As a collaboration strategy with world governments and multilateral organizations, the agency has promoted Medellin’s leadership in city networks such as C40 Cities for Life, Metropolis and AL-las; at the same time it has applied for and won awards such as the Lee Kuan Yew, better known as the “Nobel of cities”, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Award, the UCLG Culture 21 International Award and 30 others.

Medellin’s resilience and transformation are so well positioned in the world that many local governments in Latin America and even Africa have visited the city to learn from its good practices. Through cooperation actions with cities and developing countries, more than 50 knowledge transfers have been carried out with cities in other places, including Burma, in assistance to victims of the armed conflict, and Recife (Brazil) in entrepreneurship, urbanism and innovation. In addition, more than 1,000 international journalists interested in making Medellín’s transformation process visible have been received.

Converting the capital of Antioquia into a Software Valley and an Eco-city will continue to be the goal of ACI Medellin in the coming years, in its aim to strengthen and open new paths with governments and companies around the world that want to create ties with the city as a key player in global changes from the local level.

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Seven social organizations in Medellín will strengthen their abilities to access international cooperation resources.

In order to create alliances with the world to achieve sustainable development and build a better place for the people of Medellin, the ACI Medellin began accompanying seven civil social organizations in the city: the Christian Youth Association ACJ-YMCA Medellin, the Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation, the SACIAR Foundation – Food Bank, the Salva Terra Foundation, the Antioquia Presente Corporation, the Seed of Hope Corporation, and the Dreams and Footprints of Tomorrow Corporation, to strengthen their capacities in international cooperation management.

About 20 social organizations of the civil society of the city applied for the call, seven of which were selected to be guided and accompanied by the ACI Medellín. Among the selection criteria, the impact, experience in international cooperation and the public-private articulation of the organizations were evaluated.

The organizations were selected based on their track record in international cooperation processes through a call for proposals that evaluated their impact, experience in international cooperation and public-private articulation with other organizations.

David Villegas García, executive director of the Salva Terra Foundation, said that through this process they seek to “strengthen relations through cooperation and investment in rural development and food security for the municipality of Medellín and the department of Antioquia”.

The pilot project, which will run through the second half of 2022, includes activities such as the identification and socialization of international cooperation calls and advice on the formulation and application process, a cycle of training in cooperation that will work on topics such as scenarios for seeking opportunities, information management and contexts for applications, cooperation language, project formulation and budgetary considerations, successful experiences, among others.

Organizations not selected in this cycle of accompaniment will be able to be trained in the free virtual course “Introduction to International Cooperation for the non-profit sector”.

“In the ACI Medellin, we are proud to begin the work of accompanying social organizations, with which we hope not only to increase the flow of cooperation resources entering the territory, but also to strengthen the social ecosystem of the city,” said Juan Manuel Muñoz, Project Management director of the Agency.

The ACI Medellin invites social organizations not selected in this process to strengthen their capacities in cooperation through the free virtual course “Introduction to International Cooperation for the non-profit sector” with an intensity of 16 hours that will be open from August 15 to October 30, 2022. More information at https://virtual.acimedellin.org/

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Denmark announces cooperation with Medellín

With the purpose of exploring possibilities of cooperation with Medellin, we received the visit of the Danish Embassy in Colombia, led by its ambassador Erik Høeg, and accompanied by the city counselor Mikkel Hall. After the visit they announced that the city-city cooperation program of the Mayor of Copenhagen has decided to start a new cooperation in Latin America, and Medellin is one of the priority cities.

We organized a full work agenda with the Danish delegation, which included a meeting with the general manager of EPM, Jorge Andrés Carrillo Cardoso; the vice president (e) of Strategy and Planning, Luisa María Pérez Fernández; the director of the EPM Foundation, Vivian Puerta, and a group of officials of the Company. At the meeting, the general manager of EPM highlighted the importance of cooperation for the achievement of EPM’s strategy and acknowledged the experience of the Danish country in clean energy issues and in the implementation of circular economy programs, which can contribute to the fulfillment of the company’s goals.

“The first phase is to grow closer, to understand where we can do things, where the city has needs, while also coming to learn a lot from Medellín. We recognize EPM as an engine for the transformation of the city and that is why we are here to know where we can develop concrete projects or initiatives with city impact.” said the Danish Ambassador.

The director of the EPM Foundation, Vivian Puerta, highlighted Denmark’s Embassy ‘s cooperation in the strategy “My Sustainable Future”, an initiative aimed at children between 7 and 14 years old that is being organized jointly by this embassy, the District of Medellin, the ACI Medellín and the EPM Foundation and that will be presented next September.

The delegation lived the silletero experience

Since we were in the midst the city’s Feria de las Flores, we took advantage of the opportunity to tour the silletero farms with Ambassador Erik Høeg in the township of Santa Elena. The ambassador lived an experience full of tradition, flowers, plays and stories.


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Medellín goes from being a Municipality to a Special STi (Science, Technology and Innovation) District

As of 2021, Medellin became a Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation, the first city in Colombia to recieve this designation.

In order to better understand this fact, we would like to answer some frequently asked questions.:

What does it mean to be a district as a special entity?

  • That we are a territorial entity with administrative autonomy, which can be governed by its own authorities and enjoys special powers, different from those contemplated for other territorial entities such as municipalities and departments.
  • This means that we have particular characteristics of the territory that merit a special administration regime.
  • Medellín joins 11 other special districts in Colombia, such as Barranquilla, which is an industrial and port district, Santa Marta, which is a tourism, cultural and historical district, as well as Cartagena, Buenaventura, Barrancabermeja, among others.

What are the benefits of being a special district?

The declaration of Medellin as a District is currently in the regulation process within the Republic’s Congress and it is not yet clear how the tax issues will be resolved, i.e., meaning Medellín might assum new taxes such as taxes on alcoholic beverages and road traffic, normally designated to governorships. This will not be known until 2023, when it will be properly regulated.

What benefits does the District currently offer in terms of STi, despite the fact that it has not yet been fully regulated?

Currently, there are no new benefits directly derived from declaring the city as a STI District, although it is worth mentioning that some important benefits for companies that exist since before this designation are:

  • 100% exemption in 2022 and 50% in 2023 in the industry and commerce payment for companies formalized through the following programs: Cedezos, Software Valley Centers, Capital Semilla, Creative Economy, Technology Based Entrepreneurship, Spin off.
  • 50% tax exemption for 2022 and 2023 for companies incorporated as of 2021 and that are related to information and communication technologies – ICT.
  • 100% exemption of the property tax in 2022 and 80% in 2023 for companies incorporated as of 2021 and located in the innovation and creative economic districts of the city.
  • 100% exemption of the property tax in 2022 and 50% in 2023 for companies located in permanent multi-user or special free zone, under the jurisdiction of the Municipality from the entry into force of the agreement.

What information is of interest and can be published?

That Medellín is now a STi District, which implies that we will no longer be mentioned as “the Municipality” but as “the District”, so all communications and other informational pieces must include this denomination. Likewise, all future public policies and planning instruments will fall within the STi thematic starting for the moment of said designation.

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We presented the advantages of investing in Medellin and the Metropolitan Area to Brazilian businesspeople

In partnership with the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley and the Brazilian Consulate in Medellín, we organized a virtual event to present to Brazilian investors the advantages of the city and the metropolitan area for foreign investment before more than 40 attendees from 15 organizations.

Pablo Maturana, deputy director of cooperation of the Metropolitan Area presented the reasons and opportunities why investing in this region becomes a winning bet. The Metropolitan Area in its proposal for a sustainable future 2020-2023 for the region, aims to move towards a smart metropolis, in which comprehensive actions for sustainable development use innovation and the use of ICT as tools to increase the quality of life of the metropolitan inhabitants, under the principle of territorial solidarity. This proposal contemplates 27 programs and an investment of USD $ 431 million.

In summary, the following topics were discussed:

What does the territory offer for investment?

Basically 5 reasons: high economic performance and strong business fabric, excellent climate for doing business, a region connected to the world, abundant talent, an attractive place to live.

What differentiates our territory?

Sustainable mobility, environmental quality, biodiversity, Early Warning System – SIATA, strategic urban planning projects and security and coexistence.

We’ve shared the presentation [ here ]


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The international community supports Medellín’s peace building efforts

Medellín received full support this week in its interest to construct memory, defend human rights and help victims in their quest to know the truth about violence in Comuna 13 (the city’s 13th Disctrict).

For the ACI Medellin, reconciliation, dialogue and peace processes are a priority when it comes to relating with the world to gather good practices and the best allies to promote these initiatives. This is the reason why this week, we visited La Escombrera, a sector in the west part of the city, with international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program – UNDP; Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia – MAPP OAS; Spanish Agency for International Cooperation – AECID and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace – JEP. Embassies from the Canadian, German, United Kingdom and Sweden governments were also present.

During the visit, the Secretary of Non-Violence of Medellín explained to the cooperants the road that many families have had to travel in search of justice and reparation.

This space allowed the creation of strategic relationships that give way to international cooperation as a tool that opens opportunities for fact clarification. Likewise, with this tour, the need to have historical memory within our territory is made visible by reconstructing stories.


“La Escombrera” is a site in the Comuna 13 of Medellin, which has been a site of constant reports by relatives of the disappeared and social organizations as a space of clandestine burials of people who had been detained, tortured, executed, and buried in the place, using this debris disposal site for the concealment of the bodies. The relatives of the disappeared have appropriated the site as a place of memory, carrying out many of their symbolic acts to demand truth, justice, and reparation, as well as representing a hope to find the remains of their loved ones. The space of La Escombrera will allow us to think about the relationships between conflict, violence, and the logic of heritage.

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Medellin welcomed international journalists arriving at Colombiamoda 2022 with a drone show at the Citadel for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4TA)

Nearly 40 international fashion and trend journalists who came to the city on the occasion of Colombiamoda 2022 were able to take a close look at our city and witness the transformation into a Software Valley.

On Monday, August 25, prior to the start of the largest fashion fair in Colombia and one of the most recognized in the region, journalists came to Comuna 13 to visit the C4TA or Citadel for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Transformation of Learning. There they were received by Sapiencia, the Secretariat of Economic Development and Digital Innovation and the ACI Medellin, to show them one of the largest developments in the city.

While they visited the facilities of this modern center, they were explained the modalities of the courses that are being taught and the plans for medium and long term growth. Thanks to the Epica program of the Mayor’s Office and Avon, they were able to have a fair with entrepreneurs in the fashion sector and also have a cultural immersion in the Comuna 13 with the presentation of an urban dance show with Chota and eat empanadas, obleas, solteritas and the renowned mango biche and lemon popsicles.

To close the tour, Angel Simon Arango, a 23 year old young man from Comuna 13, and entrepreneur of a drone company, performed a drone show where he brought a banner with this year’s Colombiamoda slogan through the air, and where a jacket from the brand Reset Denim also arrived hanging from a drone and was received by its designer Hernan Alvarado.

The journalists left the C4TA amazed with everything they saw and especially with the drone show and the life story of Angel Simon, who since he was a child dreamed of becoming an aeronautical technician and thanks to the programs offered by the municipality was able to study and start his own company.

The following images show more details of this tour.

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Foreign investment dignifies the lives of the elderly in Medellín

Mrs. Rocío Molina (76 years old), Mrs. Hercilia Gallego (72 years old) and Mrs. Mercelena Montoya (85 years old) found in Acalis the best option to improve their quality of life.

“Since I came here, my life has changed, I’ve been here for almost a year and I’m happy,” says Mrs. Rocío when she talks about how this center for the elderly improved her life.

Mrs. Rocio was widowed four years ago, despite her two children, she felt sad, depressed and lived very lonely. She decided to put her house up for sale and look for a home for the elderly. After a long searching, she found her corner of the world in Acalis, where she made new friends, dances, dresses up and says: “I am at home, here I do what I want, we have a great time because we have a group of six friends, so we have a great time”.

Acalis is a European-based company that has its main facilities in Santiago de Chile and is dedicated to the integral care of the elderly. It is a residential complex expressly designed and equipped for this population group, which is provided with specialized care services that include 24/7 nursing accompaniment, specialized nutrition, physical therapy and cognitive therapy.

In 2019, thanks to the market size of the region (600,000 potential clients in Antioquia), the supply of health services for this segment, the climate, the friendliness and service vocation of the people and the quality of life, they decided to settle in Medellín with an initial operation of 122 rooms in El Poblado neighborhood and an investment of USD 21 million.

habitaciones modelo Acalis
Rooms at Acalis

The company currently generates 40 direct jobs, which they expect to increase to 100 with full occupancy. Precisely another reason why they chose to come to Medellín is the human talent with a high level in health services and medium-high level in hotel services. Their arrival in Colombia was supported by Procolombia and ACI Medellín, in terms of regional sector information and local relations, which facilitated their settlement in the city.


“I was tired of being a housewife. I had been living very well for 60 years, but the responsibilities of home exhausted me, I came to Acalis, where frankly they contemplate me, I eat very well, my children visit me, this is a delightful rest for me.”

Mrs. Mercelena Montoya (85 years old)

In this way, we see how foreign investment can change the lives of citizens, in this case of the elderly, in others it is the possibility of generating quality employment and more opportunities for all.


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Medellin advances in investment, cooperation and tourism with the opening of new air routes

Medellín goza de una creciente reputación internacional como destino ideal para turismo e inversión extranjera; muestra de ello es el crecimiento constante de la llegada de nuevas aerolíneas y apertura de nuevas rutas aéreas en los aeropuertos de Medellín y Rionegro.

A mayo de 2022 tenemos 17 aerolíneas que conectan a nuestra región con el mundo, entre ellas se destacan, Viva, Latam, Avianca, Ultra, Wingo, Easy Fly, Sarpa, Jet Blue, Spirit, EZ Air, Air Europa, Aeroméxico, Viva Aerobus, American y Jet Smart, entre otras.

Estas aerolíneas cubren semanalmente 779 viajes nacionales, 198 internacionales desde Rionegro; y desde Medellín 296 viajes nacionales. Las nuevas rutas aéreas que se han abierto en los últimos dos años son Aruba por Sarpa y Wingo, Cancún con 3 aerolíneas y 17 viajes semanales, Curazao con 5 viajes y 3 aerolíneas, México con 22 viajes, Punta Cana 10 viajes, Santiago de Chile y Santo Domingo con 2, San José de Costa Rica con 3 y La Habana con un viaje. Estas nuevas rutas se suman a las ya existentes con Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Lima, Madrid, New York y Panamá.

Para Jonathan Ballesteros, director de relaciones locales e internacionales de la ACI Medellín, “nuestra región viene dando unos pasos gigantes para conectarnos con el mundo y así facilitar el posicionamiento y la llegada de inversión y turismo a la ciudad. Este hecho nos ha llevado también a ser reconocidos mundialmente como una de las ciudades preferidas por viajeros de todo el mundo tal como sucedió con el prestigioso Rankin Time Out 2022 de Reino Unido, donde quedamos en la tercera posición como la ciudad preferida del mundo.”

Recientemente, Viva abrió las rutas Medellín- Buenos Aires y Medellín- Sao Paulo; así mismo, Easy Fly abrió la ruta Paipa- Medellín con 3 viajes semanales y Wingo abrió la ruta Medellín- La Habana, lo cual se convierte en un hito para la ciudad siendo la primera vez que nos conectamos con dichas ciudades de América y con el departamento de Boyacá. Cada anuncio sirve para estrechar lazos culturales entre pueblos y ciudades hermanas donde se favorece el intercambio de inversión, turismo, buenas prácticas y por supuesto desarrollo económico para las regiones.

Esta conectividad aérea ha permitido que entre 2020 y lo que llevamos 2022 se haya reportado USD $ 653 millones en más de 50 empresas que decidieron invertir o reinvertir en nuestra ciudad gracias a factores claves que nos diferencian de otras como son: el talento humano, la cultura, el desarrollo urbano, y la conectividad aérea que facilita la cercanía con Norte América, Europa y Sur América.

Como parte de la apertura de la nueva ruta a Buenos Aires, dos silleteros de Santa Elena, visitaron dicha ciudad para promocionar la Feria de las Flores que se realizará del 5 al 15 de agosto. Esta misión que involucró a la Secretaría de Cultura y Desarrollo Económico, al Bureau Medellín y al Despacho de la Gestora Social buscará incrementar la llegada de nuevos turistas e inversionistas argentinos que en los últimos 5 años han sido 32.000 los que han llegado a la capital antioqueña.

La apertura de todas estas nuevas rutas, han favorecido el aumento del ingreso de turistas en lo que llevamos este año; de acuerdo con reportes del Observatorio Turístico de Medellín, entre enero y mayo de 2022 se registraron 472.826 viajeros que pasaron por el Punto de Control Migratorio del Aeropuerto José María Córdova, lo que representa un 38 % de crecimiento, comparado con el mismo periodo de 2019.

De esta manera, la conectividad aérea se convierte en un factor fundamental para la dinamización de la economía en nuestra región, favoreciendo procesos de inversión y cooperación que se llevan adelante con países de todo el mundo y que gracias a una mayor cercanía, ahora se puede viajar de forma más ágil y económica.

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Medellin will be the business operations center of the second largest outsourcing company in the world

It’s Concentrix, a company that will generate around 100 jobs per month until the end of 2022 and more than 1,500 additional vacancies in 2023. This North American company, with a workforce of 290,000 people in 40 countries, will hire 120 people from Medellín to start operations.

With the arrival of Concentrix, Medellín reaffirms itself as an attractive city for investors. This North American BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), created in 1983 and headquartered in California, is expected to generate 600 jobs in the capital of Antioquia this year and an additional 1,500 in 2023.

Twenty service outsourcing companies have set up in the city with an investment of US$85 million and have generated close to 4,000 direct jobs.

The figures add to those of other service outsourcing companies such as One Link, Teleperformance, UPS and Grupo Konecta, which generate quality employment.

“In Medellín we are very happy with the arrival of Concentrix, one of the largest companies in the world in the BPO sector. This North American capital company will generate 600 new jobs this year, and they have a projection for 2023 of 1,500 new jobs. This is a great opportunity for hundreds of young people in Medellin and is the confidence that has been generated in recent years in a city where flourishing is possible.”, said Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations of The ACI Medellín.

To apply for any of the company’s vacancies, applicants must have an advanced level of English and live in Medellin or the metropolitan area. More information is available at the following link [ here ]

“From Ruta N we are very happy to announce the arrival of Concentrix to the city, which together with our attraction team continues to show the world all the possibilities that large companies have to grow in Medellin with talent, with investment and with our whole network of institutions in this ecosystem of science, technology and innovation. We will continue to open programs so that Medellin’s talent is linked to all these global companies to generate value.” said Ruta N’s operations director, Rubén Villegas.

The company will set up operations in Ciudad del Rio and will work with hundreds of customers around the world.

“We chose Medellin because it’s the innovation center of Colombia, in addition to its talent and willingness to provide an excellent customer service experience; we came to contribute to the socioeconomic growth of this city by joining the technological and digital development that characterizes the capital of Antioquia” said Concentrix’s country manager in Colombia, Clara María Bernal.

This local opening of operations is the result of a positive balance during the first quarter of the year, as it achieved revenues of US$1,536 million, or 13% more than in the same period of 2021.

The ACI Medellin is advancing strategies to promote the capital of Antioquia to potential investors around the world. An example of this is Why Medellín, which between 2020 and 2022 has generated 12 virtual and face-to-face events with businessmen from Chile, France, Spain, the United States and Mexico, among others.

In addition, a project bank was launched this year to connect investors from all over the world with local companies that need foreign resources to develop high impact proposals, both in the public and private sectors. Information about this bank and the requirements to apply for it can be found [ here ]

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13 child football players from Medellin will travel to Korea to an International Tournament

Thanks to a city application made by INDER Medellín with the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín, 13 athletes from the capital of Antioquia will travel to South Korea to represent the country in the Son Heung Min International Youth Football Tournament. The event receives its name in honor of the prestigious Tottenham Hotspur player from England who supports the event through his football academy.

The event, which will take place in Chuncheon, South Korea, is sponsored by the prestigious Tottenham footballer, Son Heung Min

“In Medellín we continue betting on sports as tools for social transformation. We’re letting the city know that 13 children are going to South Korea to fulfill a dream. This delegation shows Medellín that we can transform the realities of the young people in our Comunas (districts), who are often exposed to other realities, but today, we can say that we have the proper conditions to offer them a better future”, said the director of INDER Medellín, Cristian Sánchez.

The kids were selected after several months of training and scouting work with more than 40 players, among users of INDER Medellín, sports clubs in the city and the Antioquia discipline league. They are all children from different districts of the city, Bello and Itagüí, and the coaching staff is headed by Diego Toro, a former professional football player.

The athletes’ selection process included psychotechnical tests and a medical examination to identify the weight, height and muscle mass profile, as well as their strength, speed and coordination capabilities.

“As a coach, you’ll always want to get to know new cultures, a different kind of football, so for me it’s a nice experience, just like for the boys. For many of them, this will be the first time they get on a plane, and just that is part of our innovation. We have to go to represent our city and our country in the best way possible”, said the technical director, Diego Toro.

Teams from six countries were invited to the event. The team from Medellín is the only representative of Colombia. There, they will meet athletes from South Korea, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Vietnam.

“For me, this trip represents the dedication, effort and attitude that I have always put into football. It represents the love of my parents knowing that football is my passion, taking me to practice, taking me to different clubs and playing in championships”, commented Samuel Geovo Murillo, one of the team players

The tournament is an 8-a-side football tournament for under-12 athletes and will take place from June 8th to June 12th at the Son Heung Min Sports Park in Chuncheon, South Korea. The purpose of the friendly category contest is to generate bonds of friendship between the participating teams.

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