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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