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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