In the cycle of life for Latin Americans, the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday represents the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. During those early years, the bases for the future are established. At that age, we all have some certainties, yet we also reinvent ourselves, retaining several characteristics and modifying others, all of the above aiming to adapt ourselves.

That same path has been traveled by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area. It was born, established with the initial objective of acting as the agency for the creation of relationships. It was also conceived for the purpose of managing resources for cooperation, and it did so for many years. However, with a changing environment and as a result of a judicious understanding of the city and its needs, the Agency comprehended its vocation should be complemented. That is how the purpose of attracting foreign investment was born. Today, that attraction represents a far greater income than those resources from cooperation.

In recent years, the work of the Agency has focused on building bridges, establishing relationships and managing cooperation processes to support the projects of Medellín’s development plan. It has also served to ness, with great human talent and one having a favorable environment to facilitate the growth of cooperation and investment.

ACI Medellín has been instrumental in the transformation process of the city. It has been commissioned to show the world that this is a city with a complex history but able to recover and move away from violence, fear, insecurity and deep inequalities in search of equity and sustainable development. But above all, ACI has been instrumental in enabling Medellín to be recognized as a city that reinvents itself from its past and now wants to be viewed as a territory that pledges on innovation.

For this purpose, the work of the Agency has been one of filigree. It has acted as a weaver of wills that come together to form a framework that supports the city, transforming it in the eyes of the world. All of this has served to strengthen the city’s capacities, promote its development and impact the lives of citizens. During these fifteen years, we have managed to launch international cooperation projects for USD83 million and we have attracted USD1,6 million in investment with a significant number of semiskilled and highly qualified employment opportunities.

We know that the results are not random, but are the consequence of careful work and maturity reached by ACI Medellín during these past fifteen years. We want to share all these achievements in this publication we have called “15 years, 15 stories.” Inside this magazine, we are sharing our achievements, the path we have traveled and the traces we have left in this city.

With fifteen years, we feel we are ready to meet the challenges of the city. While we have managed to bring the world to Medellín and the city to rest of the world, we understand, as in the life cycle of a human being, this is the beginning of a new phase, one having many challenges. The biggest challenge is to coordinate efforts with the private sector, academia and social organizations in order to generate projects and initiatives that will contribute to the internationalization and development of the city and the region.

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