With more than 200 business meeting performed, the city closed its event “Medellín and its international allies”

Ambassadors from Sweden, Israel, Denmark, Spain, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Dominican Republic, in addition to mayors from Mexico, Ecuador and Peru, among others, where some of the guests attracted by  the event “Medellín and its International Allies”, that ended with the assistance of 1.600 people, an economic spill of more than 60 thousand dollars and the generation of more than 300 jobs during its montage in Plaza Mayor.

Representatives from 36 countries joined entities from the city’s Public Cluster to initiate relations that will allow the attraction of cooperation and investment.

This opportunity to show the world projects from the Medellin Futuro Development Plan transformed into the proper context to give place to strategic alliances. During the event, more than 200 opportunities for investment and cooperation were achieved, that emerged from the meetings where specific interests were ratified to continue in conversation with strategic actors.

The 300 national and international guests left an economic spill of 60 thousand dollars in two days. 1.600 people assisted the event and 300 jobs were generated.

According to the executive director of de ACI Medellín, Eleonora Betancur, ”Medellín and its International Allies” met two fundamental goals: positioning the city’s image and creating alliances with the world for its transformation.

“Now more than ever, we realize that many cities want to know our model and replicate it in their regions to advance in the way that Medellín has. This event has made it clear to us that Medellín is a model for the world and that people want to know about our good practices, allowing us to position ourselves as an innovative territory in the world.”, said the director.

The Software Valley Centers had eight meeting programmed beforehand, that brough up the possibility of transferring knowledge to cities in countries such as México, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil Bolivia and Korea, and also some Colombian cities, so they can replicate the model of the Centers and therefore create a network that will allow the continuous bettering of this strategy created for the Medellín Futuro Development Plan.

András Beck, head of mission and consul of the Hungarian Embassy in Colombia, stressed that “the image that the world has of Medellín is of a city that has taken an impressive step, I don’t know of another city that has changed so much in such a short time; this is a very tangible reality in all the streets and people”.

On this same line, Ruta N met with the German Agency for International Cooperation- GIZ, where they proposed bringing Colombians who live in Germany to mentor businesspeople from the creative and cultural sectors through the Ruta Naranja project.

The Mobility Secretariat, after a meeting with representatives from the Czech Republic Embassy, received an invitation to visit Prague, with the intention of training on the city’s e public transport planning system, one of the most successful internationally.

“In matters of technology and innovation we find a very natural alliance, not limited to projects, a strategic alliance. Here in Medellín people have a fixed vision of where they want to go and, in that sense, we share that vision and talent, ”said Israel’s ambassador to Colombia, Christian Cantor.

The 80th Avenue Metro project had 14 meeting with ambassadors from Sweden, Israel, El Salvador, with three international investment funds, the Japanese cooperation agency JICA and the Korean Trade and Investment Agency – Kotra, among others, from which short-term possibilities for technical cooperation emerged, with which the personnel of this project will be trained in aspects necessary for its execution.

The opening of the ICLEI city network office in Medellín was also made official, as well as the donation of a mural by the Danish Embassy in Colombia, located in downtown Medellín next to the San Antonio Metro station, and the signing of a letter of intent with the Swedish Embassy in Colombia to strengthen collaboration and knowledge exchange on issues regarding smart cities, circular economy and gender equality.

Finally, the visitors took a tour of different parts of Medellín using public transport (Metro and Tram), including the Paseo Bolívar, Salon Málaga and the eastern part of the city where the Olympic BMX medalists were recently honored, and a mural was delivered as thanks to the trajectory of Mariana Pajón.

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Through the provision of a mural, Denmark strengthens its relations with Medellín through art and culture

The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, received, through the Ambassador of Denmark, Erik Höeg, a mural by the Colombian artist Diana Ordóñez, inspired by bicycle use and sustainability, a common theme for both territories.

During the event “Medellín and it’s International Allies”, the city received a mural donated by the Embassy of Denmark in Colombia.The delivery of this work of art confirms great instances of the relations between Medellín and this European country

This donation is given as part of the “Medellín and its International Allies” event, and it is a prelude for the “Fiesta del Libro y la Cultura” (Book and Culture Festival), that will be held between September 24th and October 3rd, 2021, and in which Denmark will have an exclusive space dedicated to giving visibility to its culture.

“Medellín is a city open to the world, that believes in the importance of international cooperation bonds. This happens within the framework of the “Medellín and its International Allies” event, with more than 250 international guests, where Denmark is very clearly a special actor, who we wish to thank” said Mayor Daniel Quintero.

Additionally, it is expected that towards the end of the year, the city will receive a bicycle counter located in one of the city’s bicycle routes, donated by Denmark, which will allow a better perspective to be held by the Medellín regarding its bicycle use.

On his end, the Ambassador of Denmark in Colombia, Erik Höeg, highlighted the current moment of the relations between Medellín and his country, and the contribution given by his delegation to the capital of Antioquia.

“We decided to contribute something of our own, something from Denmark, a piece of our culture, of our history. This mural represents Denmark’s history and culture. I see in this city, a development and a vision towards this same direction and I wish that in the future, we will be able to say that Medellín uses bicycles every week”, said the ambassador who highlighted that in Copenhagen, the danish capital, 60% of the population uses this mode of transportation.

“I’ve seen the infrastructure works, and the direction performed there, and I wish to congratulate the city for this” added the diplomat.

The art piece was made by the artist Diana Ordóñez, also known as Ledania, who is a benchmark of Latin American graffiti.

The mural is located on 46th street with Carrera 50, in downtown Medellin, next to the San Antonio metro station, the place where the A and B metro lines cross each other as well as where the city’s tramway starts. According to the number of users in the Metro System, in recent months, an average of 20,000 people a day enter this station. And according to recent data from the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, it is an area through which about 500,000 people pass daily.

“It is a bet towards sustainability and towards reducing Medellín’s transportation carbon footprint” stated Höeg.

The executive director of the ACI Medellín, Eleonora Betancur, assured that “Since last year, we’ve been working constantly with Denmark to identify potential areas where we can articulate cooperation and investment projects between the Mayor’s Office of Medellín and the Embassy of said country in Colombia”.

“With the donation of this mural, we see inevitable elements for a good and friendly relationship between both territories: culture and sustainability, which are also essential aspects for the construction of the Medellín Futuro we dream of, and in which international allies such as Denmark are turned into key actors to continue through the path of transforming into an Ecocity”, she added.

Regarding danish investment, we can highlight the well-known health company called EMI that was installed in Medellín in 2017 with a total of 10 million dollars. Since 2016, Medellín has built a strong relationship with this European country with environmental, innovation, renewable energy, Smart Cities and social inclusivity projects.

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Inversión extranjera por 542 millones de dólares potencia la reactivación económica en Medellín

Foreign investment for 542 million dollars boots Medellin’s economic reactivation

Medellin is heading towards a path of economical reactivation and recovery through this pandemic. To do so, foreign investment has become a key factor in energizing the economy by receiving 542 million dollars between 2020 and 2021, favoring new job positions and strengthening the local industry’s value chain.

It’s expected that 2.872 jobs are generated, mainly in technology, infrastructure and logistics, life sciences and agri-foods.

This achievement in foreign investment has been met thanks to, among other things, the articulation led by the ACI Medellín with local and national actors, around strategies such as relocating operations, where international companies install their production centers in the city so they can export to other markets, such as the United States.

For the executive director of the ACI Medellin, Eleonora Betancur: “the nearshoring strategy, added to the management of free trade zones, tax incentives and the attraction of anchor companies, have become key factors for the city’s economic reactivation after the effects of the pandemic. From our place and expertise, this is the contribuition we make for Medellín to move forwards and for us all to build the future we desire”.

The companies installed in the territory come from Peru, the United States, Mexico, Spain, Canada, among other countries.

Intertec, an American software and technology development company, arrived in the capital of Antioquia as part of this strategy, in order to serve its clients in other countries, taking advantage of the needs for reorganizing supply chains and the proximity to its headquarters .

The Human Resources manager of Intertec Colombia, María Victoria Morales, pointed out that the company arrived in Medellín “attracted by the human capital, the cost of living and the human quality found in the city, in addition to the nearshoring strategy, as that allows us to serve and seek solutions for our clients abroad, basically in the United States ”.

Additionally, regarding foreign investment, Medellín is working on other strategies such as the declaration of two free trade zones in local territory, one in textiles and the other in software development; a package of tax incentives focused on direct investment and the attraction of anchor companies that help achieve the boosting of the economy and strengthening the Software Valley.

The ACI Medellín seeks to encourage social and environmental impact through the investment attracted to the city, promoting social responsibility programs in education, employment and economic benefits for young people and low-income families through training plans that allow the generation of quality employment in favorable environments for people and the environment.

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With the new Medellín – Cancun air route, the city newly opens as a strategic connection hub in Latin America

The goal of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín is to position the city and the region as a strategic hub for air operations, tourism occupies an important line in the city’s recovery plan. This is the reason as to why alliances are being made to promote the destination with other cities in the world, which represents, among other things, the direct connection with new air routes to New York, Orlando, Cancun, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile.

Traveling to Cancun from any city will be possible, with a connection/stopover in the capital of Antioquia on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

This commitment is already showing results with the inauguration of the new Medellín – Cancún international route, operated by the airline Viva Air, which represents the opening of the Medellín HUB, an important step in the purpose of turning the capital of Antioquia into the hub for air connectivity in the continent.

“Not only are we now connected to Cancun, but this also means that every time a plane flies to said destination, another plane flies back to Medellín as well. Tourists arrive from Mexico, and this is one of our most important markets. What’s behind a tourist? There’s travel agencies, hotels, taxis, restaurants and visits to different parts of the city, and an exchange of experiences. I believe that Medellín has a lot to show and more so after everything we’ve gone through” said the mayor Daniel Quintero Calle.

Through the Jose María Cordoba Airport, Medellín connects with nine cities and five countries with direct flights. On the 10th of June, the Medellín- Orlando route will start operations, and the Medellín- Mexico City route will start in the beginning of August.

Around 35,000 passengers are expected to mobilize during the first year of operations of this route, with flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The next ones to operate will be: Medellín-Orlando (June 10th) and Medellín-México (in the beginning of August).

Before the pandemic, tourism represented 8% of the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP). From 2015 to 2019, the arrival of international passengers exceeded 55%, with more than 900,000 visitors annually.

The Municipal Administration and actors of the sector seek to overcome the barrier of one million visitors in the coming years, to resume the growth that local tourism had. In addition, it’s an opportunity to invite tourists to buy products made in Medellín, a campaign by local entrepreneurs to encourage domestic consumption, as emphasized by Mayor Quintero.

For Félix Antelo, president and CEO of Grupo Viva, “Medellín is a unique city, not only in Colombia, but in the world. What this city has achieved over the years is something few others have. There is much to tell the world about Medellín, we need, and we are going to focus a lot on bringing tourists from the Americas to come to know, to spend, to live experiences; so, the union between Viva and Medellín is more solid and firm than ever and we are going to continue betting on this great city”.

To date, through the José María Córdoba Airport in Rionegro, Medellín connects, through direct flights, to Miami, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Madrid, Panama, Lima, Mexico City and Cancun, which are operated by nine airlines.

With the Move to Medellín strategy, the Municipal Administration intends to strengthen the sector, which is why it has already provided $ 800 million for tourism incentives and hopes to attract more foreign companies.

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Medellín announces economic reactivation plan with benefits for foreign investment

With the intention of reactivating the economy and propitiate the arrival of investors to Medellín, Mayor Daniel Quintero announced a series of benefits for companies that believe and install their operations in the city.  Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle will present this incentive plan for social and economic recovery to the Municipal Council.  

“We will have tax reductions for those who help reactivate the city’s economy. We want to encourage technology-based companies to locate in Medellín,” said the local leader. 

To achieve this goal, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín will present a project to the city’s Council so that the technology-based companies established in the city, including those created last year, have a five-year benefit in the payment of the Industry and Commerce tax. In the first two years, they will have a 100% discount, in the third year, an 80% discount, in the fourth a 60% discount and in the fifth year, a 40% discount. 

This strategy seeks to encourage the attraction foreign investment and tourism to the city in order to accelerate the economic recovery of the territory. 

To impulse the Orange Economy, Quintero added that, companies located in Orange Development Areas (San Ignacio, District 13, Prado and Perpetuo Socorro) will have benefits in the payment of their Industry and Commerce obligations. In the first year, they will have a 100% discount, during the second year, an 80% discount, in the third year, the discount will be of 60%, in the fourth of 40% and in the fifth of 20%.  

The proposal also includes foreign companies that set up and create jobs in Medellín. These will receive tax benefits for five years, with a discount of 100% in the first year, 80% in the second, 60% in the third, 40% in the fourth and 20% in the fifth. 

The incentive for foreign investment will be given through the reduction of Industry and Commerce Taxes for companies that have settled in Medellín. 

The Mayor highlighted that “In the midst of the pandemic, we have been working to connect Medellín with the world, through the new direct air routes from New York, Orlando, Cancun, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile”.  

This pact for the social and economic recovery of the city will have an investment that exceeds 3 billion pesos, which are expected to be used in making the most out of Medellín’s potential as a formative, innovative, avant-garde, tourist and entrepreneurial territory. 

It’s expected that around mid-June, the Council of Medellín will clear the path to be able to proceed with the proposals made towards reactivating the city’s economy.  

As of June 8, the city’s economy will be fully reactivated without mobility restrictions, but with all the biosecurity protocols in place.


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Visita de la Embajada de israel en Medellín

Israel ratifies Medellín as a high priority location

“Medellín is a strategic partner for Israel”, was the beginning of the intervention made by Cristian Cantor, the Israel Ambassador in Colombia. In the meeting with executives of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, the dignitary highlighted the enormous interest they have in turning Medellín into a fundamental ally for education, the environment and digital innovation.

This small country, located by the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East region, has become the “mecca of world innovation” in health, energy and environment issues.

With an extension of only 22 thousand square kilometers, equivalent to a third of the Antioquia territory, and a population of approximately 9 million people, it is classified as one of the nations with the highest GDP in the world, occupying the 31st position in this ranking.

The GDP per capita is a very good indicator of living standards and by 2020, in the case of Israel, it was €38,942 euros, placing it in a great position by occupying the 21st place in the ranking. This allows us to assume that its population has good living standards in relation to the 196 countries in the per capita GDP ranking.

In the meeting with Ambassador Cantor, Eleonora Betancur, executive director of ACI Medellín, Juliana Colorado, Secretary of Environment, Juan Sebastián González, Secretary of Digital Innovation and Mauricio Valencia Undersecretary of Business Creation and Strengthening were present. They presented strategies such as the Software Valley Centers, the Digital Neutral Highway, the Medellín innovation Lab and the Ecocity line of the Medellín Futuro Development Plan.

Israel has Medellín as a strategic partner with which they want to strengthen not only the commercial and business relationship but also cooperation, to improve the quality of life between both territories. In the future, it is expected that the city may have a delegate in Israel that will allow all the opportunities that arise between the two territories to properly land.

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El Metro de la 80 y la red de ciclorrutas recibirán asesoría del Reino Unido para reducir gases efecto invernadero

The 80th avenue metro and the bicycle path network will receive advice from the United Kingdom to reduce greenhouse gases

The WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) together with the C40 network, UK Pact and Minambiente selected two Medellín Futuro projects to assess needs in energy innovation and greenhouse gas (GHG) removal technology. The strategy, developed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), seeks to finance climate change mitigation initiatives in developing countries through its International Climate Finance (ICF) fund.

Both projects met the requirements to recieve this technical support that will mitigate climate change. A new step towards turning Medellín into an Ecocity, where the environment is in harmony with the citizens.

Medellín was selected by the British government to assess the city’s needs for energy innovation and greenhouse gas (GHG) removal technology. The strategy, advanced by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), seeks to finance climate change mitigation initiatives in developing countries, through its International Climate Finance (ICF) fund.

For this purpose, the projects for the 80th Avenue Metro and the Bicycle path networks  were identified, both in their implementation and with high potential to reduce GHG emissions. In addition, support was received for the city’s report on RENARE, a platform to record the reductions of these gases in Colombia..

The initiatives were selected from an inventory that included the Urban Protected Air Zone (ZUAP), the river TRT lane (truck rapid transit), Line Z (a line of electric buses that connect to the José María Córdova airport), a section of the North-South bicycle, electric taxis, and others.

The process began with the construction of a prioritization matrix that took notice of the project’s importance for the city,  it’s potencial to mitigate greenhouse gases, it’s expected benefits and the gender impact, all from a theoretical point of view and according to international experiences.

The Secretary of Enviroment, Juliana Colorado, emphasized that, through these international actions “we’re continuing to bluntly move towards the development of a coherent and sustainable city with the challenges brought by the XXI century, commited to the Paris, and aware that the planet’s well-being is the biggest challege of our society and protecting it, is fundamental for all forms of life”.

It is expected that with this exercise of international, local and regional technical cooperation, pollutant emitions are reduced,  and premature deaths will be reduced by promoting physical activity and safe, accessible and well-lit spaces, so that the Ecocity strategy of the Medellín Futuro Development Plan and the goal of being a Carbon Neutral city by 2050 maintains its impact on citizen’s quality of life.

Finally, the executive director of the ACI Medellín, Eleonora Betancur, mentions that “Medellín, with its Development Plan, has become a model for many cities in the region and the world thanks to its firm commitment to the environment. Belonging and having a leadership in the C40 network and now, being selected for the BEIS with these projects, shows that we have a growing responsibility to meet the world’s commitments in the Paris Agreement and to contribute to saving the planet”.

The densification of the cycle network includes the implementation of 40 kilometers of length with cycle-infrastructure, mostly segregated, to consolidate corridor sections that allow expanding and connecting the existing urban and metropolitan network.

In turn, the 80th Anevue Metro is a strategic project for sustainable mobility, urban transformation and public space, that will connect the west area of Medellín through light rail train technology, that will contribute to betting citizen’s quality of life.

BEIS International Climate Finance (ICF) is a commitment by the UK Government to help developing countries respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

As part of this commitment, BEIS will provide at least $ 7.5 billion from ICF by 2021, aiming to achieve a fair divide between mitigation and adaptation, positioning the UK among the world’s leading providers of climate finance.

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El alcalde Daniel Quintero Calle presentó las estrategias de Ecociudad y Valle del Software en el Primer Foro de Jóvenes de C40

Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle presented the Ecocity and Software Valley Strategies in the first C40 Youth Forum

Leaders from all five continents, including Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle, met virtually this Saturday, April 24th at the first C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, to discuss and implement actions to address the climate emergency that the planet is experiencing.

The Ecocity strategy represents the clearest goal that the Medellín Futuro Development Plan has to stop climate change.

Since 2020, and as a result of the pandemic, the Antioquia capital has taken a leading role in the C40 network, with a presence at the main table of Mayors for Green Recovery and just after the start of the Coronavirus. Thanks to this participation and environmental strategies, the city was chosen to represent Latin America in the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum.

In his speech, the mayor of Medellín reiterated that the opportunity for change is now or never, giving the power of decision back to the people, “but to create the disruptive changes we need to fight climate change, we need to bring the government back to the people and especially to our youth ”, he said.

This forum promotes collaboration on climate action and in favor of a Green New Deal.

The Medellín Futuro Development Plan is aligned with the C40 New Global Green Agreement in which governments and leaders commit to recognize the global climate emergency, keep global warming below the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius, put inclusive climate action at the center of all urban decisions and invite political leaders, CEOs, unions, investors and civil society to join this commitment.

Under this perspective, the Ecocity strategic line seeks to make Medellín Carbon Neutral by 2050, with infrastructure works that guarantee sustainable mobility, such as the 80th Avenue Metro, the great north to south bicycle route that will connect the 10 Aburrá Valley municipalities and the creation of Protected Air Zones to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Another significant progress is the technical approval of the Medellín Climate Action Plan by the C40-Cities Climate Leadership Group which outlines the road we need to follow to become a carbon neutral city by 2050. This achievement makes it the first in the country to have the endorsement of this city network.

In addition, the local leader highlighted the creation of programs on a city lever, “What for? To invest in education, to sign the climate action plans signed at the begining of the pandemic, to create development plans, to turn our cities into Ecocities and to change education”

Therefore, the Software Valley strategy brings opportunities to all young people, with the delivery of scholarships, guaranteeing free public university education, building universities dedicated to training and research in areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and with the delivery of computers to children in the city, to strengthen a knowledge-based economy.

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Medellín se posiciona como lugar estratégico de operaciones para aerolíneas internacionales

Medellin has positioned itself as a strategic place for international airline operations

Wingo, Viva Air, American Airlines, JetSmart and Avianca have recently announced their arrival with new international plane routes from the Jose María Córdoba Airport. These good news come as a strike of hope after a very critical 2020 for the tourism and aviation industry due to COVID-19.

With this announcement, it is shown how new investors are attracted by a territory that offers guarantees and a stable and favorable economic outlook for the installation of companies with foreign capital.

The new routes will allow to bring Medellín closer in a more favorable and direct way with touristic destinations such as Cancun, Miami, Orlando, New York, Santiago de Chile and México City, by at the same time favoring the connection  from these destinations to the rest of the world. Additionally, the consumer is favored with a more competitive market, with plane tickets that have more flexible costs and other benefits offered by each company.

The main reason why these companies are arriving is passenger traffic, which is the second highest in the country after Bogotá, as well as the economic potential of the city and region. This added to the fact that more and more passengers are avoiding making stopovers and layovers in cities like Bogotá or Panamá, especially during the pandemic where this has become more undesired.

Viva Air, with its new routes to Orlando, Cancun and Mexico City, seeks to encourage the region’s development, boosting the country’s economy and at the same time decongesting and decentralizing the Dorado Airport.

JetSmart adds to the other three connections that the company has in the country with a route between Santiago de Chile and Medellín, which will begin operations on July 7 with two weekly frequencies.

Wingo started operations towards the end of March with its new Cancun-Medellin route, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, using Boeing 737-800 NG planes, with a capacity of 186 passengers.

American Airlines will start a third flight a week in its Miami-Medellín-Miami route starting in May, operating with a Boeing 787 with a larger capacity and a daily flight to the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, that starts operations in May as well.

Finally, Avianca announced that starting in July, they will start direct flights between Medellín and Cancun, three times a week, this added to the 167 frecuencies to 8 destinations that this airline operates currently from the Jose María Cordoba Airport.

In this way, Medellín and the region continue their positioning as a center for airline operations; these airlines see great potential to encourage tourism throughout the whole continent.

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Medellín receives an international award as an educating and inclusive city

Medellín received international recognition for its work in cultural democratization, the improvement and adaptation of cultural facilities as learning spaces open to all citizens. This plan is shown in the CATUL network project that includes the Culture Houses Network, Theaters, Articulated Life Units and Sound Production Laboratories.

The capital of Antioquia is one of the three winners, along with Santos (Brazil) and Torres Vedras (Portugal), within a group of 50 cities from four continents.

The delivery took place within the framework of the 16th AICE International Congress, virtually and with the assistance of the organizers of the AICE Network award, juries, mayors, delegates from the other winning cities and the more than 500 cities that make up the association.

The award-winning project, CATUL network, impacts an average of 400,000 people each year.

The secretary of Citizen Culture, Álvaro Narváez, was present at the ceremony, he highlighted: “The Culture Houses Network receives more than 400,000 people a year to make an exchange between the State, the community and artists. We are recognized for being innovative through social, educational and cultural transformation of a Medellín that continues to move through culture towards it way to the future ”.

The award was announced in October of last year and constitutes an achievement, thanks to the application made by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín and the Secretariat of Citizen Culture.

For the executive director of ACI Medellín, Eleonora Betancur: “this AICE award grants global recognition in inclusion and democratization of culture, thanks to the work done with the CATUL network. Today, thanks to the Medellín Futuro Development Plan, our city presents itself to the world as a city where culture and the arts are consolidated as an open, diverse, critical, dynamic ecosystem committed to the transformation of Medellín ”.

The recognition is delivered within the framework of the 16th International Congress of AICE, led by the President Delegate of the AICE, Commissioner for Education of the Barcelona City Council.

This recognition highlights good government practices in access and participation the community, with greater relevance in vulnerable populations, in order to promote their participation in the cultural scene, either as a spectator or as active members of the different artistic, social and cultural groups. Likewise, it highlights the way in which the city’s people appropriate spaces to impact the real needs of the social and cultural environment, in order to improve it.

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‘No more empty promises’ climate activists go on Global Climate Strike

In the midst of the various public health, sociopolitical, and economic crises that the world continues to face entering the new year, climate activists are declaring a Global Climate Strike today, March 19, to demand immediate, concrete and ambitious action from world leaders in response to the ongoing climate crisis.

Part of what they want to highlight in this strike is the urgency of immediate action in the face of the weather- and climate-related disasters that have devastated various countries last year, from the wildfires that afflicted parts of Australia, North America, and Latin America, to the droughts in Africa, to the storms that devastated Central America and Southeast Asia.

“The science is crystal clear — climate change is exacerbating natural disasters by making these events stronger, more intense, more frequent, and therefore more destructive,” said João Duccini, a climate activist from Brazil. “The climate crisis is not a far-off catastrophe. Heat waves, droughts, floods, hurricanes, landslides, deforestation, fires, loss of housing and spread of diseases — this is what the most affected people and areas are dealing with more and more frequency today. Our lives depend on immediate action.”

“It’s been five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, and three years since the alarming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was publicly released,” said Maya Ozbayoglu from Poland. “Numerous countries all over the globe have committed to seemingly ambitious pledges about reaching ‘net-zero’ emissions. Empty promises like these can be a very dangerous phenomenon, because they give the impression that sufficient action is being taken, but in fact that is not the case as these targets are full of loopholes, creative accounting, and unscientific assumptions.”

For over two years now, youth climate activists from around the world have been striking and taking to the streets to demand climate justice. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the actions will be taking on different forms in different places, but their call for #NoMoreEmptyPromises is uniting people beyond borders under the same goal of immediate climate action. 

“If we don’t act now, we won’t even have the chance to deliver on those 2030, 2050 targets that world leaders keep on talking about,” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan from the Philippines. “What we need now are not empty promises, but annual binding carbon targets and immediate cuts in emissions in all sectors of our economy.”

“When your house is on fire, you don’t wait for 10, 20 years before you call the fire department; you act as soon and as much as you possibly can,” said Greta Thunberg from Sweden.


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Intertec, compañía de software y TI de Estados Unidos inició operaciones en Medellín bajo modelo de nearshoring

American software and IT company started operations in Colombia under the nearshoring model

Attracted by factors such as the market size, the qualified and bilingual human talent available, and the country’s strategic location country, the company Intertec International, a global provider of customized software and IT services, announced its arrival in Colombia with the opening of operations in Medellín and Bogotá. Along with its subsidiary in Costa Rica, this is the firm’s second base of operations in Latin America serving clients based in the United States. Among the company’s plans is the active hiring in other Colombian cities such as Cali and Barranquilla to support its clients using a remote work model.

With its expansion to Colombia, the Intertec International company strengthens its presence in Latin America. The firm has open vacancies for Colombian professionals.

The arrival of Intertec responds to the National Government’s strategy of importing exporters, with which they seek that the companies that settle in the country contribute to the growth of the business and export fabric, and find a platform that allows them to serve their centers of consumption in regions such as North America and Latin America.

Intertec has 20 years of operations and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, providing custom software and IT services to industries such as electronics, aerospace, education, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, high-tech and distribution, direct sales, finance, hospitality and others.

“The decision to expand our presence to Colombia represents an exciting phase in the growth of our company. Colombia is strategic due to talent quality, service availability and a location that allows us to be close to the United States and to our clients,” said Kent Feuerhelm, Executive Vice President of Intertec International.

“This new operation is based on our nearshoring model for strategic and highly competitive locations, which allow us to serve our clients with immediacy and efficiency. These new locations help us to better serve our clients with our custom world-class software and services. IT, ” adds Feuerhelm.

The exploration of Intertec’s investment destination was accompanied by the promotion agencies ProColombia and ACI Medellín.

For Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, “Intertec’s investment in Colombia confirms the country’s attractiveness in the software and IT services sector due to factors such as our strategic location, investment protection, and sustained growth of its indicators, among others. This it is the type of investments that contribute to make our territory a location for nearshoring operations and support the economic reactivation of our country ”.

According to Eleonora Betancur, executive director of ACI Medellín “the arrival of companies such as Intertec International to Medellín shows the transformation that the city has been presenting in recent decades and that undoubtedly portrays a prosperous city for business and with an enviable quality of life. The joint work between the public, private and academic sectors in Medellín makes foreign investment prosper and makes its expansion plans a reality in the short, medium and long term”.

Santoro explains that attracting companies with an interest in nearshoring, particularly taking advantage of the reorganization needs of supply chains and proximity to their headquarters, represents an opportunity for Colombia, which is why the National Government has been promoting the creation of tools that facilitate the establishment and expansion of investments, in addition to the adoption of sectorial and regional strategies to offer a consolidated package and ensure the establishment of new investments in the country.

ProColombia works actively to promote the relocation of company operations in Colombia. To date, it has contacted more than 660 international companies, of which 118 have stated that they would consider Colombia a nearshoring destination.

Intertec established operations with an initial team, and is actively hiring with the expectation of reaching 100 employees by the end of 2021. The company is seeking bilingual professionals in the areas of software development and engineering, quality assurance, software testing, and automation. , IT infrastructure, project management and operations support personnel.

Those interested can apply at: recruiting@intertecintl.com

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Medellín base tecnológica de talent.com

Medellín, technological base for the Canadian Talent.com

Talent.com founded in 2011 in Canada under its initial brand Neuvoo is the second largest job search engine in the world, with more than 80 million visitors per month and operation in 79 countries.

From the capital of Antioquia, technological support is provided to the global operation of the Canadian multinational.

The company arrived in Colombia in March 2017 and with the support of ProColombia and ACI Medellín settled in the capital of Antioquia, from where this  globally present job engine originates. In addition, it has offices added to those present in Montreal, Chicago, Lausanne, Barcelona, Paris, Sao Paulo and London.

“We were looking for a city where we could expand our operations in Latin America, and it seemed to us that Medellín had all the characteristics of a city in full economic development and with a lot of potential to grow and have access to good talent. The best of all was that when we arrived, we found ourselves with a very hard-working culture and with a lot of knowledge in the areas we needed ”, states Lucas Martínez, the company’s CO-CEO.

“Medellín is our technological base, so to speak, our team is made up of more than 100 people and most of them are in system engineering, computer science or other related careers. We seek that all our operations are carried out from Colombia, in addition to the development of many products for all our users who find employment through us” added the director.

For the development of its operations in Colombia, Talent.com has invested US $ 2 million and estimates to reinvest between US $ 5 million and US $ 10 million in the next two years.

The company’s goal is to create an ecosystem with the largest global job database. To date, it has more than 30 million job registrations available in the world and nearly 500,000 users find a new job each month through Talent.com.  

By 2021 this multinational expects to double its workforce in the city and reach 200 positions; and by 2022 to have more than 400 employees in Colombia. 

Talent.com is looking for bilingual software developers whose main strength is  PHP language for the backend and JavaScript on the frontend, also for programmers who are starting their work experience and who are fluent in JavaScript.

Those interested in Medellín can apply through the website [ here



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Downtown Medellín reopens its cultural door to the world

Touring downtown Medellin has become an inevitable to-do on the agenda of tourists, investors, diplomats and citizens of the world who want to perceive the scents, colors and flavors of Medellín at its best. For this reason, after almost a year of closure for theaters and spaces for cultural socialization due to the pandemic, some of them are preparing to reopen their doors to the public, preserving all biosafety protocols.

The SOS Centro strategy and Caminá pal Centro, prepare their first activities and tours in March and April in order to turn some sectors of this city commune into transformation centers through theatrical and musical performances in the open air or in closed spaces, with limited capacity.

The different sellers and unique characters from the city’s downtown are intended to be the protagonists of this exercise that brings people from all the city’s and world’s corners to  Medellín’s downtown for cultural walks and appropriating public space.

These initiatives stem from the Alianza para el Centro, a network working alongside institutions such as the University of Antioquia, the Pablo Tobón Uribe Theater, Comfama, Banco de la República, Corpocentro, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín and Casa Centro Cultura, among others, whose task consists of recovering downtown spaces that were once epicenters for prostitution, drugs, crime and abandonment in order to invite all citizens to walk its streets without fear.

The city’s downtown still has many social, economic and environmental challenges, but it also has a journey that shows transformation, life and hope not only for the city but also for positioning itself as an internationally chosen destination.

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ATOM Chat, empresa extranjera instalada en Medellín es reconocida como una de las 11 startups más relevantes del mundo

ATOM Chat, foreign company installed in Medellín is recognized as one of the 11 most relevant startups in the world

The startup ATOM Chat, with more than a million dollars in annual revenue, was selected among the 11 most relevant startups in the world by the accelerator Techstars.

This company created in 2019 in Panama, has a presence in Medellín since 2020. Its services are focused on providing solutions through conversational chatbots that allow customers to increase sales up to 5 times more. Brands such as Toyota, Ficohsa, Caja de Ahorros, Grupo Unicomer, MetroBank, ASSA, Ford, Grupo Melo and Hyundai, etc, are among the customers satisfied with the services of this startup.

“We visited Medellín for the first time in 2016 and from that moment on we were clear that we wanted to grow the company in this city. It was the perfect place, the perfect weather and the perfect people  to do so. This finally happened in July 2020, when we hired the first person for Customer Success in town. From there, it was a wave of growth that has not stopped yet ”, stated Erick Holmann and René Mouynes, founders of Atom.

Currently, they have a team of 13 people in the city, including the administrative staff and part of the software development team that helps to operate the platform. Likewise, they have more collaborators in Colombia and the world that allow them to continue growing and operating to bring better services to their clients.

Something they admire about Medellín is that the city has known how to run businesses without compromising natural resources, maximizing the advantages that companies have to advance in the construction of an Ecocity and a Software Valley. Likewise, they highlight that, due to its geographical location, Medellín allows it to be in the same time zone as important countries that provide economic development to Colombia, becoming a key point to boost business and be a magnet for them.

Finally, these entrepreneurs make it clear that the most important thing they have found is qualified human talent where technical skills are perfectly mixed with soft skills that allow forming united work teams with high quality standards.

The prestige of this company installed in the territory has been recognized in two publications of the magazine Forbes Centroamérica where it is cataloged as one of the firms with the most projection in the entire region.

Forbes Latam: Forbes Julio-2020 (P. 23)


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En Guarne estará la planta de PepsiCo más grande del país

The country’s biggest PepsiCo plant will be located in Guarne

In recent years, Colombia has become the third most important market in Latin America for PepsiCo, and one of the most prosperous worldwide. The sustainable growth of this multinational has been so significant that the company formalized new investments in the territory, which in turn will serve to reaffirm confidence in the country.

In order to strengthen the company’s value chain, PepsiCo will expand its production capacity in Guarne (Antioquia) and in Funza (Cundinamarca), with an investment that will allow it to continue advancing towards its purpose of creating a sustainable food system. With an estimated amount of US $ 158 million, the company bets on four pillars: innovation, infrastructure, agriculture, communities and sustainability; For this last point, there will be technologies that help take care of the environment, focused on having a positive impact on water, the implementation of renewable energies, and that also allow manufacturing plants to have zero waste.

The project will be divided into two parts: on the one hand, the construction of a new production plant in Guarne and the expansion of the production plant in Funza. These works will allow PepsiCo to continue its work with communities, since through its Foundation, they will seek initiatives focused on water, recycling, the empowerment of women in agriculture and the development of sustainable agriculture. To date, the company has 10 programs in 12 municipalities throughout the country.

On the other hand, the multinational wants to continue strengthening the associations with small farmers by expanding the intervention areas in the Colombian countryside. As announced, the company will begin to buy 20% more potatoes in Colombia, which will boost the sale of this national agricultural product. Each year, the country consumes 80,000 tons of potatoes and 18,000 tons of bananas.

Betting on its commitment to being faster, stronger and better, PepsiCo projects significant growth in the future, and it is because of this that it decides to face that next demand with new investment in the country. To meet its goal, the Funza plant will have the installation of a PC-50 technology, this will increase production by more than 140%, in addition to allowing the processing of more than 16,000 additional tons of potatoes per year, also expanding the scope of input purchases from Colombian farmers. Only in this plant $ 609,000 million pesos will be invested in upgrading.

An investment of US $ 93 million is estimated for the new plant in Guarne, which includes new packaging technologies. This will be PepsiCo’s largest production plant in Colombia, there will also be a water treatment system with the best technology in the world, which will allow a high percentage of recirculation with zero solid waste. Likewise, there will be different production lines that include brands such as Natuchips, DeTodito and Doritos, only this plant will be able to house more than 400 workers. The start of construction in Guarne began in August last year and plans to be delivered by 2022.

Currently PepsiCo has three plants in Colombia: one in Funza (Cundinamarca), another in Bogotá and one in Sabaneta which will be modernized and moved to Guarne (Antioquia).

The ACI Medellín has given permanent support to of the company to facilitate the implementation process of what will be a project for the economic growth and social development of the entire region.

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Mercado Libre abre más de 500 plazas de trabajo en Medellín con su nuevo Centro IT

Mercado Libre opens more than 500 jobs in Medellín with its new IT Center

In its 21 years of operation in Colombia, Mercado Libre continues to strengthen its commitment to the country, now with the opening of its second Technology, Innovation and Product Center, which will be located in Medellín, a city chosen by the company since it is a world benchmark in innovation and where more than 500 jobs will be generated. 

The leading e-commerce company in the region opens its second Technology, Innovation and Product Center in Colombia, after it developed this infrastructure in Bogotá in 2020. 

This new strategy is the result of the organization’s plans to continue expanding its technological capacity and maximize the user experience throughout Latin America, based, on this occasion, on the support that the capital of Antioquia will provide. From there, regional impact products will be developed for all Mercado Libre business units, comprising solutions in electronic commerce and financial services that transform the lives of millions of people. 

The investment made in the organization’s expansion in the country during the last two years has generated more than 1,500 jobs, a figure that is expected to increase throughout 2021. 

For the start-up of the new IT Center, plazas will be opened, filled by local experts and talents in skills such as backend and frontend software, mobile development, IT security, business intelligence, machine learning, data science, application infrastructure, user experience , among other. All those interested in consulting vacancies can access the following platform: [ here ] or on the Mercado Libre Colombia website, in the section Work with us.  

“We are convinced to continue expanding our IT team in Colombia and after a 2020 of exceptional growth, we decided to redouble this effort in Antioquia. We are sure that the ecosystem of digital entrepreneurship and the innovative approach that positions Medellín as the city of the fourth industrial revolution is the right place for this second center. ”, Says Jaime Ramírez, director of the Andean region of Mercado Libre. 

The IT Center opened last year in Bogotá had quick growth, the product of an exceptional human team, which opened the eyes of the organization to establish new points in the country that will accompany the challenge of continuing to grow exponentially. With the opening of this infrastructure in Medellín, both centers will work hand in hand and will also be “owners” and responsible for a large part of the products generated for the entire region. 

This is how Colombia joins Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico, in the list of countries that have two centers of this type for the entire Mercado Libre operation. 

The Free Market Technology, Innovation and Product area in Latin America is made up of more than 5,000 people, the majority being in Argentina but with a growing tendency to diversify that presence in other markets on the continent. Between 2019 and 2020, more than 2,500 people have been linked at the regional level and with the opening of the IT Center in Medellín, plus other expansion plans of the company, the team is expected to grow by more than 40%, a figure that is relevant in the midst of the impact that the pandemic generated in the different industries. 

 Medellín is taking certain steps to become the city where entrepreneurship and innovation are a public good, a fundamental right that anyone can access. Along this path, it is necessary to create supply and demand for talent. On one end, we articulate the local ecosystem so that we have more people trained in the skills of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. At the same time, we work to promote our Software Valley, so that companies that are world and regional benchmarks in technology can settle down and create jobs. Under this premise Mercado Libre arrives in Medellín, to create opportunities for growth and job development , said Javier Darío Fernández Ledesma, executive director of de Ruta N.   

Eleonora Betancur, executive director of ACI Medellín, highlights that  “The city is experiencing one of the most important moments in its history with the transformation of its productive vocation towards technology. For this reason, we are committed to companies such as Mercado Libre not only arriving and settling in, but that each day they can grow in their capacities in such a way that they bring more social and economic development to the territory. In Medellín, the work coordinated between the public, private and academic sectors works and for this reason Mercado Libre can be sure that we will do everything possible so that their needs are always solved in the most appropriate way “. 

“We celebrate Mercado Libre’s new investment in Colombia, which reflects the investor confidence and commitment of this great multinational for local talent. This achievement confirms the potential of our territory as an investment destination and for the growth of exports of IT solutions. In addition to providing technology, employment and new opportunities for greater competitiveness in the country” , said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.   

This infrastructure is in addition to the two large investments made by Mercado Libre in Colombia in 2020: the IT Center in Bogotá, which currently has 400 people and plans to close the year with double this number, and the Distribution Center, located in Funza, with which the company generated more than 1,500 jobs this year, a figure that will increase in 2021. 

About MercadoLibre: 

Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre is the leading e-commerce technology company in Latin America. Through its platforms MercadoLibre.com and MercadoPago.com, it offers solutions for individuals and companies to buy, sell, advertise and pay for goods and services online. 

MercadoLibre.com provides services to millions of users and creates an online market for the negotiation of a wide variety of goods and services in an easy, safe and efficient way. The site is among the 50 most visited sites in the world in terms of page views and is the mass consumption platform with the highest number of unique visitors in the most important countries where it operates, according to metrics provided by ComScore Networks. The Company has traded its shares on the Nasdaq (NASDAQ: MELI) since its initial public offering in 2007. 

About Ruta N: 

Rut N is the business and innovation center of Medellín. Its purpose is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the city through Science, Technology and innovation. To achieve this, it has three strategic priorities: attracting talent, capital and global companies to the city; develop and strengthen the innovative and entrepreneurial business fabric; and generate CTi solutions for city challenges. 

About ACI Medellín:

The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín, has established itself as a key factor in the internationalization process for the development of the territory through the construction of strategic international relations, facilitating access to the city and the region of international cooperation resources and the arrival of national and foreign investment. 

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Indra’s smart 4.0 center of excellence lands in medellín

Indra, one of the main global technology and consulting companies in Colombia and in the world, is now part of the Medellín innovation and business center, Ruta N, contributing to the quality of life of city’s inhabitants through the use of technology, science and innovation. Indra’s Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence will work to provide solutions to the new challenges and needs facing the cities of the future.

Indra will settle in Ruta N to join the city’s digital ecosystem, which will allow it to work closely on technological innovation projects.

“We are happy with the arrival of our Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence to Ruta N. With this new project, we will continue to develop innovative technologies that adapt and respond to the needs of citizens, governments and companies. We will work hard to provide knowledge and offer solutions with an approach that will have repercussions in the city and in other regions of the country, ”said Fernando Ayala, Indra’s CEO in Colombia.

Here, the company, through its subsidiary Minsait, will implement and create new solutions with innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and big data that adapt and respond to the needs of citizens, governments and Business.

“Indra arrives at Ruta N to be an active part of the Medellín Science, Technology and Innovation ecosystem. It is, without a doubt, a commitment to building a Medellín Software Valley hand in hand with the academy, the private and public sector and the community. This is the one of the city’s commitments that will allow us to promote better employment conditions, a comprehensive digital transformation and a territory in which entrepreneurship is natural ”, said Javier Darío Fernández Ledesma, executive director of Ruta N.

Indra will be present at Ruta N to work closely on technology projects that interest the city and in which data management is the key to solving problems such as the environment, energy, urban mobility, health, safety, leisure , tourism, among others.

“Indra is growing with Colombia, it’s contributing to the technological transformation of the country’s regions, to the creation and training of qualified talent and it is the type of efficiency investment that we promote for the economic reactivation and competitiveness of the country. We celebrate this new expansion that reflects Indra’s investor confidence in our territory, ”said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.

With the arrival of the Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence to Ruta N, Indra hopes to make a significant contribution to improving the living conditions of citizens and the sustainable growth of the economy.

On their end part, for ACI Medellín, the installation of a Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence in the Software Valley is a relevant fact that demonstrates the trust that Indra, a world-class company, places in the city. Additionally, these investments allow the generation of new jobs and reactivate the economy at a time when the world is facing a great crisis due to COVID-19.

Smart Cities and Innovative Technologies

The new challenges imposed on cities in relation to their citizens and the way in which they interact with their environment, due to episodes such as the recent coronavirus pandemic, make technology reinvent and develop solutions to specific problems. At that point, Indra’s Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence not only presents itself as an ally for innovation in Medellín, but also materializes through Minsait, Indra’s leading company in digital transformation consulting and Information Technology in Latin America and Spain, its interest in research and development with tools based on the integration of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Big Data.

Large cities require adequate and expert treatment of the information they collect about the behavior of citizens who occupy their territory against multiple factors such as banking, the environment, education, transport, etc. The use of Big Data is key in the processing of said information with a view to integration and analysis to give a prediction response on certain situations.

For its part, Artificial Intelligence makes it possible for the solutions developed to have a greater impact as they are better managed by non-corruptible software and with greater precision and reliability. Traffic management is a perfect example of the fusion between AI and Big Data in search of increasingly safer, faster and more sustainable mobility in cities. These tools can be configured to serve any other type of environment, be it medical, political, democratic, etc.

Indra hopes to make a significant contribution to improving the living conditions of citizens and the sustainable growth of the economies of their cities through the development of innovative and useful technology. In this way, the Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence aims to be able to become a space in which the research and development of new technological solutions, together with public and private entities, academia and local enterprises, positively impact life and the environmental, economic and social development of Medellín and Colombia; and therefore, contribute to improve their levels of productivity and growth.

Indra ratifies their commitment to the growth of Medellín, the epicenter of several of the latest technology projects that the company has carried out in Colombia and with which it has generated more than 1,300 jobs in the region.

Indra in Colombia actively promotes the generation of quality employment in the country’s technology sector. An example of this are the more than 1,300 professionals hired by the company, in the last year in the city of Medellín, who work on the implementation of new projects based on solutions that benefit different sectors of the economy. Projects such as the implementation of intelligent systems for the control of tunnels and tolls in the Eastern Tunnel, allowing the longest tunnel in Latin America to be safer and more efficient. Likewise, Indra implemented the complete collection system in the Ayacucho tram and has managed access control with its technology in the pioneering intermodal public transport system in Medellín.

About Indra in Colombia

Present in the country for more than 20 years, Indra is one of the main technology companies in Colombia. It has more than 3,000 professionals and offices in the cities of Bogotá, Barranquilla and Medellín, as well as a Delivery Center (Software Production Center) in Pereira, a Cloud Center of Excellence in Bucaramanga and a Cybersecurity Center in Bogotá. The company is part of some of the key innovative projects for technological development in Colombia in the Transport & Defense, and Information Technology (IT) sectors through its subsidiary Minsait.

About Indra

Indra (www.indracompany.com) is one of the world’s leading global technology and consulting companies and the technology partner for key business operations of its clients around the world. It is a leading global provider of proprietary solutions in specific segments of the Transport and Defense markets, and a leading company in digital transformation and Information Technology consulting in Spain and Latin America through its subsidiary Minsait. Its business model is based on a comprehensive offer of its own products, with an end-to-end approach, of high value and with a high component of innovation. At the end of the 2019 financial year, Indra had income of 3,204 million euros, more than 49,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and commercial operations in more than 140 countries.

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Hub Medellín Viva Air

“It is time to decentralize flights in Colombia, Medellín becomes our strategic connection center”: Viva Air

With a determined commitment to encourage the development of the region, boost the country’s economy, and resume its expansion plans, Viva Air announces Medellín as its strategic Hub for operations and the José María Córdova international airport in Rionegro as its main connection center for deployment of its flights. With this, the airline seeks, not only to decongest and decentralize the El Dorado airport in the city of Bogotá, but also to provide travelers with unique opportunities by allowing direct access from Medellín to more markets, including new international destinations to the Mexico City, Cancun and Orlando. This underscores the efforts the airline is making to provide more opportunities to connect Colombia with the world.

Resuming the international expansion plans that were put on pause in 2020, Viva announces the opening of four new international routes that will connect Medellín – Mexico City, Medellín – Cancun, Medellín – Orlando and Bogotá – Mexico City. These new international routes are in addition to the airline’s most recent announcement of three new domestic routes to Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. Thus, there are already 26 domestic routes to 12 national destinations operated by the airline and seven international routes to five destinations in Peru, Mexico and the United States, transforming air transportation in Colombia with its Low Cost model.

“9 years ago, our story began among the mountains of the capital of Antioquia. Medellín is our home, here we were born and here we operate. As an airline we understand that aviation in Colombia cannot depend solely on Bogotá and a single airport. Therefore, we seek to make air connections from Medellín just as important as those from El Dorado. With the deployment of our strategy and air operations from Medellín, we hope to promote tourism, development and contribute to the economic reactivation of the entire region. Despite the challenges that the pandemic brought with it, our plans to connect Colombia inside and outside the country don’t stop. The inauguration of four new international routes ratifies our expansion plan and strengthens the commitment to the country’s connectivity,” commented Félix Antelo, president and CEO of the Viva Air Group. In addition, he highlighted that the strategic location of Medellín provides a tremendous advantage since it is the intermediate point of the two main existing connection centers in Latin America, in Bogotá and Panama.

Viva has its main offices in the municipality of Rionegro, a suburb of the city of Medellín, where it generates more than 400 direct jobs executing on its strategy and deploying operations. Additionally, the airline operates flights to 10 national and international destinations to and from the capital of Antioquia, demonstrating the company’s commitment to positioning the José María Córdova International Airport, in Rionegro, as the base for its air operations.

For its part, the Low-Cost airline will fly to Mexico City from Bogotá beginning June 2 and from Medellín starting June 8, 2021 with four flights a week. Likewise, it will begin operating the Medellín – Cancun route from June 2, with three flights a week. And finally, with the conviction of establishing Medellín as an operations HUB, the airline will begin operations on the Medellín – Orlando route from June 10 with three weekly flights.

Tickets are on sale through the website www.vivaair.com and will have inaugural rates starting at $189.90 USD round trip for the United States and $229.90 USD for Mexico. Thus, Viva makes low-cost flight a reality for all of Latin America, and expects travelers will experience the ‘Viva Effect’ in the reduction of rates by 39% in the case of the Medellín-Cancun route, for example, and 48% in the Medellín – Mexico City route.

Viva Air, an airline that has resumed 90% of its operations with a load factor of over 85% on its flights, emphasizes that the deployment of operations from the capital of Antioquia will allow it to make, thanks to the geographic location of Medellín, future direct connections between North and South America, facilitating the control of operating costs and thus more competitive rates for travelers.

This demonstrates how Viva promotes air inclusion in Colombia and expects that approximately 180 thousand passengers will benefit, during the first year of operation, from these new routes, which will allow more and more travelers to connect with the region and fly at low prices, with certified biosafety protocols and the best punctuality. Taking advantage of the advantages that the second most important airline in the Colombian air market brings with it and the direct connections that Medellín generates with the rest of the country and the world.

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New Routes Viva Air

Viva Air continues its commitment to the domestic market and announces three new national routes

In its determined commitment to democratize country’s sky, to continue betting on the national market, and to continue their growth in the Colombian air market, Viva Air announces the opening of three new national routes toBucaramanga and Cúcuta. With these, there are already 26 domestic routes to 12 destinations and three international routes to Peru and the United States, operated by the airline. This is evidence of the good results that the company has obtained since its arrival in the Colombian air market and its commitment to connectivity in the region.

Viva, an airline that has transformed air transport in Colombia thanks to its Low Cost model, will fly routes from Medellín to Bucaramanga, Bogotá to Bucaramanga and Medellín to Cúcuta daily, starting April 6th with the flights to Bucaramanga and April 7th with the flights towards Cúcuta. Tickets to these national destinations are already being sold through the website www.vivaair.com with launch rates for routes from $ 59,900 to Bucaramanga and $ 89,900 to Cúcuta, one way.

“Our commitment towards connecting Colombia does not stop. We come from a high selling season with load factors above 85%, which shows that the reactivation of the domestic market is on the right track and travelers increasingly trust our Low Cost model and biosafety protocols. That is why, as a Colombian airline, we continue to grow our route network and bet on connecting Colombia”, commented Félix Antelo, president & CEO of Grupo Viva Air. “The announcement of three new routes, even in times of reactivation, shows our efforts to continue promoting tourism, business generation and economic development in the region,” Antelo pointed out.

It is estimated that the opening of these routes to Bucaramanga and Cúcuta will generate the well-known ‘Viva Effect’, a reduction in market rates between 20 and 40%. Likewise, the airline projects that, in the first month of operations, approximately 21,500 passengers will fly on these routes. Therefore, there are nine national and international routes that Viva will operate from and to Medellín, which shows the airline’s commitment to positioning the capital of Antioquia as its strategic Hub and Rionegro airport as the base of its air operations to promote dynamization of the sector.

Currently, Viva Air has 93% punctuality as a holding company, maintaining its commitment to operational performance, an attribute that positions it as the most punctual airline in Colombia and one of the most important Low Cost companies in Latin America.

Notably, Viva became the second largest airline in the Colombian air market, transporting more than 1.9 million passengers in 2020 and making up more than 12,000 flights last year. The Low Cost company expects to increase its participation in the domestic market, which in 2020 went from 15 to 24%, showing its growth and the acceptance of its business model.

The good results and the growth path of the airline make it clear that Viva today has full capacity to compete with the best conditions in the market, offering Colombians not only the best prices, but also high standards in safety and punctuality on their flights. , with a growing fleet of 21 aircrafts with the lasted technology; that position it as the most efficient and effective option when traveling.


Redacción: Viva Air

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Medellín’s internationalization attracts more foreign investment and projects the generations of new jobs

Medellín’s transformation remains a protagonist on world stages. This has highlighted the attraction of national and international events, foreign investment and the generation of jobs for the new economy of the Software Valley in the internationalization balance of the last year, presented by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment ACI Medellín, the Bureau of Medellín and Antioquia, Plaza Mayor and Ruta N, articulated with the Mayor’s Office of Medellín.

ACI Medellin reported a total of 385 million dollars in foreign investment projects and cooperation resources in 2020. In addition, 32 new national and international events, which will generate $ 61,000 million, will be held in the city in the next three years and 31 companies from ten different countries settled in the CT+i ecosystem through Ruta N.

The capital of Antioquia exceeded 381 million dollars in foreign investment achieved with the installation of foreign companies and reinvestments. In international cooperation, the ACI Medellín reported five million dollars for local projects, managed donations of medical supplies to attend the pandemic from 11 countries around the world and nominated the city for international awards, four of them awarded in culture and attractiveness.

“In 2021 we have a commitment to the city and now, more than ever, to the entire region, thanks to our new agreements with the Government of Antioquia, Grupo EPM, the Metropolitan Area and all our strategic allies to attract investment and cooperation, which will allow us to continue transforming and leading the change to a sustainable and inclusive society ”, mentioned the executive director of ACI Medellín, Eleonora Betancur.

Meeting tourism remained one of the main generators of employment and business. The Great Bureau of Medellín reported that 97% of the events that were to take place in the last year were successfully rescheduled for the next three years, impacting the city’s economy by more than $ 77,000 million. In addition, 32 contests were attracted to be organized between 2021 and 2023, leaving the economy more than $ 60,000 million.

Regarding its own and traditional events, Plaza Mayor highlighted the continuity of Maridaje, Expoartesano, Expofinca, Trafic Latinoamérica, among others, with more than 60 international speakers. Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, these were all carried out in hybrid and virtual formats, which did not prevent the city from continuing to position itself as a hub for academic and business meetings for Latin America.

“All these achievements are the result of the work of the Public Cluster in order to make Medellín a hub for innovation and events, and an attractive destination for foreign investment. Today, the eyes of the world are on our city, it was a difficult year, but we still had the ability to attract companies and resources for development. This significantly impacts our economic reactivation and will promote very good scenarios for the future, ”said the Secretary of Economic Development, Alejandro Arias García.

Additionally, the pre-feasibility study was signed for the construction of the Plaza Mayor hotel, a milestone that will impact the well-being of citizens and tourists, and will make the city and its convention center more attractive.

The Local Administration highlighted efforts made by Ruta N in the consolidation of a world-class science, technology and innovation ecosystem. Still during the pandemic, 31 companies from 10 countries settled in the city, generating 1,514 quality jobs. These technology-based organizations with worldwide operations are committed to growing for Latin America from Medellín and its Software Valley.

Ruta N registers a total of 370 companies from 32 countries that have established themselves in the Medellín CT+i ecosystem since 2012 and that have generated more than 10,800 jobs in the IT industry.

Also, Medellín’s participation in the G20 Alliance of Smart Cities is highlighted, which seeks to propose technological solutions for challenges in mobility, environment and security, among others. This was obtained thanks to the work of the Center Affiliated to the World Economic Forum for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Colombia, turning the capital of Antioquia into one of the six Latin American cities in this group.

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Israel fortalece lazos con Medellín y Antioquia

Israel Strengthens ties with Medellín and Antioquia

The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín attended the visit of Israel’s Ambassador Christian Cantor for three days, in order to present him the opportunities that the region has in terms of investment and cooperation.

Israel’s Ambassador Christian Marcos Cantor carried out a work agenda this week in Medellín.

In the meetings he held with the Medellín Mayor’s Office and the Antioquia Government, he spoke mainly about the investment possibilities that the region offers in innovation, technology, agribusiness and trade. Ambassador Cantor highlighted the Colombian economy and its export offer to Israel.

The Trade Agreement

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and Israel entered into force on August 10th of this year, and it is, without a doubt, a tool to increase not only bilateral trade, but also investment.

Israel is one of the most innovative and dynamic economies in the Middle East, and a strategic ally for Colombia in diplomatic matters. In this context, the agreement with Israel is the first step in the consolidation of our commercial relations with the Middle East, a region with high purchasing power and an import orientation.

It is expected that this agreement, in addition to increasing trade and investment flows, will promote bilateral cooperation, the removal of non-tariff barriers and promote diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Cooperation with Israel

The Secretariat of Security and Coexistence of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín has had working meetings with the Government of Israel, specifically with the Ministry of Defense, in order to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on security matters.

Medellín and Antioquia are interested in sharing knowledge and promoting Israeli investment in digital innovation, sustainable development, infrastructure and logistics, agribusiness, technology and life sciences.

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Cuáles ciudades del mundo son hermanas de Medellín y para qué

Which cities in the world are Medellín’s sisters and why?

Between 1981 and 2019, Medellín strengthened its ties with 27 cities in the world. Latin America, the United States, Spain and Asia are part of the list of regions and countries with which the city seeks to project itself as a tourist destination and forge alliances that allow it to increase direct foreign investment and attract international cooperation resources.

For 40 years, the Paisa capital has embarked on a crusade to strengthen ties with cities around the world. It will change the strategy. 5 memorandums and cooperation agreements were signed by the city in 2020.

Conceived as a bilateral declaration to work on a joint agenda, twinning plays a crucial role in the international projection of the city. What is the origin of this figure? What benefits does it bring to the municipality? and how much money does it cost?

In dialogue with EL COLOMBIANO, several actors who lead this task explained some of the keys to understanding its advantages and disadvantages.

Eleonora Betancur González, executive director of the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area (ACI), explains that the twinning strategy is a tool that dates back to the 1940s, when the Second World War was ending; several cities began to forge alliances and overcome the devastation of the conflict.

“Just as States have exchange mechanisms, cities have also claimed that need to have dialogue without the intermediation of the national State. A proper and particular dialogue between cities ”, explains Betancur.

According to the director, although at the global level the strategy dates from approximately 1947, in the case of Medellín it would arrive almost three and a half decades later, in 1981.

During May of that year, the then mayor José Jaime Nicholls issued Decree 297, with which he formalized a twinning with the city of Fort Lauderdale, in the United States. As appears in the records, that twinning had the goal of strengthening the capacity of local emergency agencies in responding to fires.

However, it would take until 1998, some 27 years later, for the city to resume this strategy.

Projection abroad

Twinning has been key to promoting Medellín’s internationalization strategy, a task that seeks to attract resources to support social programs and strengthen the regional economy.

The main indicator used by ACI Medellín to illustrate the success of this work is the return on investment, which compares the amount of resources used to promote these relationships with the amount of resources attracted.

In the case of national and foreign investment, for example, last year the agency calculated 381.1 million dollars attracted; and for cooperation, 4.9 million dollars.

Considering that the agency had a budget close to 5,300 million pesos last year, the data indicates that, for every peso invested in these relationships, the city received a return of 261 pesos in foreign investment.

In the case of international cooperation, for each peso invested, the city received 7 pesos.

Sandra Howard Taylor, executive director of the Bureau of Medellín, believes that twinning facilitates the development of territories and enhances sectors of the economy where there are affinities, such as tourism.

“Regarding tourism, twinning can be associated with interesting market niches for us. These cultural ties and affinities can lead to a fluid exchange of people from one destination to another, ”says Howard Taylor.

According to the Director of the Bureau, twinning and other international agreements allow the city to position itself as a relevant tourist and investment destination in other countries.

“They allow us to show a more progressive, innovative and fertile city for business generation. This creates confidence for entrepreneurs and investors and a better understanding of the city as a destination,” adds Howard.

Along with tourism, there are also other sectors of the economy and the public sector that have benefited from these relationships.

For example, according to the director of the ACI Medellín, one of the success stories is the twinning signed with Bilbao in 1998.

At the institutional level, one of the legacies of this alliance was the joint work on issues with a gender perspective, mainly in the administrative strengthening of the Secretariat for Women after its creation.

Likewise, in terms of urban planning, the Bilbao city council has provided advice to the city to replicate successful interventions.

In this case, another important example appears in the award-winning project Parques del Río, which in several components of its planning was influenced by the experience of a similar intervention developed in the Bilbao river.

Apart from Spain, other successful experiences include free scholarships that have benefited officials to train in local government and development issues.

In addition, in the case of the twinning with Fort Lauderdale, which will turn 40, the city fire department still receives advice.

Although in general terms the strategy can be very positive, Eleonora Betancur states that the tendency of main cities around the world consists in prioritizing relationships that include more concrete work plans.

Although twinning shows the intention of two or more cities to work together, these alliances need to be carefully cultivated and translated into concrete work plans, explains Betancur.

“The idea is not to sign just for the sake of signing, because sometimes they simply remain as goodwill intentions. Rather than signing, the task is to ensure that those that already exist have life, follow-up and reinforcement ”, says Betancur, who adds that there are other figures“ less eloquent, but more operative ”, as is the case of memorandums of understanding and cooperation agreements.

Although the signing of new twinnings in the coming years is not ruled out, Betancur anticipates that the city’s priority will be to strengthen the ties that already exist and seek work plans with cities that are in tune with the goals of the latest development plan.

Seeking alliances to attract technology firms and finding educational opportunities within the framework of the software valley strategy will be some of the goals.

Goals for 2021

During this year, ACI Medellín seeks to attract more resources to strengthen social programs and promote the regional economy. In terms of international cooperation, the agency will seek to encourage the arrival of 7.5 million dollars, and in terms of foreign investment, it will seek to attract 140 million dollars.

As Eleonora Betancur, director of ACI Medellín, explained, the focus during the next few years will be to strengthen alliances through memorandums of understanding and cooperation agreements. In 2020, the city signed at least 5 agreements of this type.

Within the group of cities that are projected as the most attractive, Betancur highlighted Boston (United States), with which it is intended to attract business and enhance the Software Valley Strategy.


Eleonora Betancur, director of the ACI Medellín, explains that, despite its success, twinning has become a strategy whose use is less frequent between cities around the world. Criticized for not turning into concrete work plans, figures such as memorandums of understanding and cooperation agreements are projected more attractive. As she explained, in the case of Medellín, unlike twinning, these types of new agreements can be structured in a more agile way, since they do not require the approval of the Council. “From now on, although we do not rule it out, the be will be not to sign so many twinning arrangements, but rather agreements that lead to more practical work plans,” said the director Betancur, for whose priority is strengthening ties with cities that allow achieving the goals of the Development Plan.

Note prepared by El Colombiano

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La ACI Medellín se une a EPM para atraer cooperación para el desarrollo

ACI Medellín joins EPM to attract cooperation for development

In order to strengthen the internationalization strategy, the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín and EPM created an alliance to promote the attraction of international cooperation for Medellín and its Metropolitan Area, especially in the lines prioritized by EPM: waste management, sustainable mobility and renewable energy.

“This alliance occurs for many reasons, EPM is a partner of the Agency, both organizations promote the sustainable development of the city-region and ACI Medellín will contribute all its experience to promote EPM’s internationalization process,” said Natalia Currea, director of Knowledge and Innovation of the ACI Medellín

All this will catapult the goals of the city’s Development Plan related to the possibility of transforming Medellín into a cutting-edge city, environmentally and socially sustainable, competitive in the global economy and equitable in its territories.

This union will make it possible to join technical, human and financial efforts for knowledge transfer in terms of cooperation and management capacity, led by ACI Medellín, that support a national and international strategic relationship and the leverage of EPM projects.

The goals of this agreement are: to implement a knowledge transfer program in international cooperation management by ACI Medellín to the Cooperation for Business Development Direction of EPM, to develop a portfolio of strategic and viable projects for management of international cooperation, based on its areas of strategic action and define a relationship route with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the direction of cooperation for the development of EPM’s businesses.

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Medellín seeks cooperation and investment with China for technological an infrastructure development

The city seeks to strengthen the relationship with the Asian country through potential areas for the articulation of important projects that favor both territories

The Colombian ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Luis Diego Monsalve Hoyos, visited the city during the first week of January, where he attended a meeting with representatives of the ACI Medellín, with the aim of identifying areas and opportunities for cooperation and investment projects; these representatives of the ACI Medellin also accompanied him to present a joint work plan to the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero.

Said plan focuses on the development of initiatives from the city’s the Bank of Projects, for which international investment and new technology projects applied to public and private transport, the efficient use of natural resources and the use of alternative energies are sought, as well as civil protection, socio-economic affairs, public space and commerce. The capital of Antioquia is focused on becoming the Software Valley, making the city an attractive region for digital innovation businesses that keep us on the radar of the so-called Smart Cities. For its part, China has cities that are highly developed in these practices such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Yinchuan, Hangzhou and Chongqing.

Another axis of bilateral cooperation work will be academic exchanges of teachers and students between China and Medellín, focused on teaching Mandarin and Spanish. Likewise, to raise the performance of local talent, scholarships will be managed to study higher education in China for teachers and students. And in terms of good practices, it is expected that the high experience in higher education centers and parks in the Asian country can be applied to the city’s North and West University Citadels.

Eleonora Betancur, director of the ACI Medellín, mentioned that the entity, in its internationalization task for the city, made agreements with the Embassy of Colombia in China to program a Virtual Coffee Meeting with the Ambassador and the ProColombia Office in China to disseminate and socialize investment opportunities among entrepreneurs in that country, a strategy that will serve to socialize city projects in the mature stage and projects that are prior to starting tenders such as the 80th Avenue Metro. Other activities are also planned to favor the opening of new businesses and opportunities for investment for the renewable energy sector through EPM, as well as the relationship with Paisas in China to strengthen Cerebros Fugado’s attraction strategy, which is being worked on through the Sos Paisa program, and also seeks to promote the exchange of knowledge with Paisas in China that contribute to city programs and projects.

In terms of investment, Colombia ranks ninth among developing countries that receive FDI, and is also ranked 23rd in receiving FDI worldwide. Medellín represents 7.4% of the National GDP and is one of the cities with the greatest national and international projection, which, with the support of ProColombia and the National Government, continues to focus on the potential it has to attract foreign direct investment.

In the last 10 years, Chinese investments in the city have reached a total amount of USD 182 million and estimated the generation of 465 jobs from 8 investment projects. They represent USD 26 million annually, with the infrastructure and logistics sector standing out with 99.7% of investments, specifically in infrastructure and air connectivity, followed by the commerce sector with 0.3% with the opening of commercial showcases for electric and conventional vehicles.

In addition to the potential in infrastructure, which for now is focused on the 80th Avenue Metro project, there is also a high interest in seeking investment in technology, which thanks to the Software Valley strategy that is implemented in partnership with Ruta N, the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ProColombia and ACI Medellín,  it is expected to attract Chinese companies so that Medellín is the center of operations for Latin America and North America.

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Más de 160 empresarios de otros países conocieron detalles del proyecto del Metro de la 80

Metro de la 80, a project that rises worldwide interest

160 representatives of multinational companies, with expertise in subway and light rail construction, rolling stock manufacturers and investment funds, connected to two webinars.

Our city undertakes the most important public works project in the last 25 years: el Metro de la 80 (The 80th Avenue Light Rail). This is an urban development commitment that will have a 13.25 kilometer route and 17 stations, it will mobilize 52 million users annually and will reduce the emission of 94,173 tons of CO2 every year to the planet.

For this reason, the city held two webinars with more than 160 entrepreneurs from countries such as China, Japan, India, the United States, Turkey, and Spain. Brazil, France, Chile, Peru and Colombia, among others, in order to explain the technical, legal and financial details of this mega-project.

At the events, the financial, technical, urban and architectural details of this great project were made known to multinational companies that are experts in the construction of subways, light rail, rolling stock manufacturers and investment funds.

Towards the end of November, Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle signed the co-financing agreement to carry out the construction of the light rail for the 80th Avenue alongside the National Government and the Government of Antioquia.

For Eleonora Betancur, executive director of the ACI Medellín “This project will be much more than just infrastructural, it will be a fundamental artery for the life of the entire city and region, allowing development and connectivity between different areas of the city, while generating sustainable urban, environmental and social conditions.”

3.5 billion pesos in total will be invested in this project, of which 2.4 billion will be financed by the National Government. The payment distribution will be 70% from the Nation and 30% from the municipality.

The two webinars had the participation of Mayor Daniel Quintero, Angela María Orozco, Vice Minister of Transportation Carmen Ligia Valderrama; Paola García, Vice President of Investment of ProColombia; Tomás Elejalde Escobar, Manager of the Medellín Metro; and Sergio López, Manager of the Metro de la 80 Project.

Webinar Metro de la 80

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New Analysis Shows World's Major Cities on Track to Keep Global Heating to 1.5°C

New Analysis Shows World’s Major Cities on Track to Keep Global Heating to 1.5°C

Paris, France (11th December 2020) — C40 Cities today released new analysis of climate action plans from 54 cities confirming they will deliver their fair share of greenhouse gas emission reductions to keep global temperatures to the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement – the level that scientists agree is needed to tackle the global climate crisis. The analysis includes reviews of comprehensive new plans from 14 cities – Buenos Aires; Curitiba; Dakar; Guadalajara; Johannesburg; Medellín; Mexico City; Milan; Montréal; Lisbon; Rio de Janeiro; Salvador; São Paulo and Vancouver. The data confirms that when fully implemented, these climate action plans will protect residents, create jobs, address inequalities, and tackle the global climate crisis.

C40’s research reveals that efforts by these world leading cities will prevent at least 1.9 gigatonnes of GHG emissions from being released into the atmosphere between 2020 and 2030, equivalent to half the combined annual emissions of the EU’s 27 member states.

54 cities, representing more than 200 million residents, are on track to help keep global heating below 1.5°C and tackle the climate crisis, per C40 analysis.

The new analysis was presented today by Mark Watts, C40’s Executive Director, at a landmark event hosted by Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to mark five years since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.

C40 research reveals that city efforts could avert at least 1.9 gigatonnes of GHG emissions between 2020 and 2030, equivalent to half the annual emissions of the European Union.

Cities with climate action plans reviewed by C40’s Deadline 2020 programme and confirmed as having science-based targets consistent with the Paris Agreement goals include:

Buenos Aires, Argentina; Melbourne, Australia; Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador & São Paulo, Brazil; Montréal & Vancouver Canada; Medellín, Colombia; Copenhagen, Denmark; Paris, France; Accra, Ghana; Milan, Italy; Guadalajara & Mexico City, Mexico; Amsterdam & Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Oslo, Norway; Lisbon; Portugal; Dakar, Senegal; Durban & Johannesburg, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; London, UK; and Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New York CityPortlandSeattle & Washington D.C., USA.

Amongst the details contained in the climate plans reviewed by C40 are the following:

  • In Mexico City, more than 100km of public transport corridors and 4 new cable car lines will be open by 2024, providing better access to essential services for low income communities.
  • In Dakar, the city will improve flood management, protecting citizens and livelihoods  by including climate risks in urban planning.
  • In São Paulo the city will incentivise and prioritise local and organic food production, providing residents with access to affordable and quality food.
  • In Johannesburg, by 2030, all new public and private buildings will operate at net zero carbon, generating hundreds of jobs.
  • In Buenos Aires, 100,000 new trees will be planted by 2025, helping clean the air all porteños breathe.
  • In Milan, the city will reallocate 100km of street space for cycling and walking by the end of 2021, delivering a green and just recovery to the COVID crisis.
  • Lisbon will multiply its production of solar energy by 50 by 2030, ensuring the energy transition ends energy poverty and benefits all city residents.

C40’s Deadline 2020 Programme, launched in 2016, is working with cities around the world to develop and implement climate plans which will deliver action consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement – an integrated and inclusive plan that addresses the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the impacts of climate change, and deliver wider social environmental and economic benefits. This work is made possible with the generous support of the UK Government, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DMFA) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, C40 Chair, said: “Cities have always carried the torch of climate action, because our residents can’t afford the costs of indifference and the consequences of delay. This analysis confirms what we have long known to be true: cities will keep doing their part to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, root our strategies in science, protect our most vulnerable residents, and deliver a green economy that works for everyone.”

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, who today hosts a landmark event at Paris City Hall marking the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, said: “I was Chair of C40 Cities when Deadline 2020 was set, challenging global cities to set their own climate action plan that will protect residents, create green jobs, address inequality and build the future we want. Now, five years on from the Paris Climate Agreement, I am proud to see so many cities from all over the world launch their plans to keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C. This marks an important milestone in our efforts to accelerate climate action and demonstrates the incredible leadership from cities on this issue.”

“Cities around the world are showing that it’s possible to tackle the climate crisis and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – and the steps they are taking are already improving millions of lives, by cleaning the air, creating new jobs, giving people new ways to get around, and protecting communities from floods and other disasters,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, C40 Board President, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP. “The more we do to support the work cities are doing, the faster we’ll make progress globally, and C40 will continue finding new ways to do that – and new partners in the public and private sectors who share our commitment.”

COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “The new ambitious Climate Action Plans from 14 cities is a great demonstration of the leadership that we need to see on the road to COP26 and beyond if we are going to succeed in tackling climate change.”

“We are bringing the world together at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December to provide a platform for more ambitious commitments like these.”

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mayor of Buenos Aires, said: “As cities, we are aware that in the current crisis context these commitments are not easy. But we also know that we cannot continue working with the status quo. We have the opportunity to rewrite our urban design, promoting cities on a human scale which improve people’s quality of life and support climate action.”

Daniel Quintero, Mayor of Medellín, said: “Medellín is the first city in Colombia to formulate its Climate Action Plan with international standards and in line with the Paris Agreement, to have a route map that leads us to a progressive reduction in the generation of Greenhouse Gases and to achieve the neutrality of these emissions by the year 2050. Likewise, our Plan encourages green and fair economic growth.

Antonio Carlos Peixoto de Magalhães Neto, Mayor of Salvador said:”The challenges of the climate crisis are global, but through local actions, we can contribute to the planet’s sustainability. Salvador has fulfilled the Deadline 2020 commitment and is launching a Paris-compliant Climate Action Plan. Thus, the first capital of Brazil is contributing to the global climate agenda, and at the same time, implementing actions that promote adaptation and climate justice to its citizens.”

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan said: “To deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must deliver a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that creates a fair economy, cuts emissions and creates jobs.”

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Antioquia le propone a Colombia el modelo de huertas urbanas como solución a la malnutrición en las ciudades

Antioquia proposes to Colombia the model of urban orchards as a solution to malnutrition in cities

With the delivery of 3,300 urban gardens in Medellín and its Metropolitan Area, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Antioquia, proposes the country to adopt this supply model that seeks to balance the imbalance between the food production capacity in the rural areas and the need for healthy food consumption in urban areas.

The Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Antioquia delivered 3,300 urban gardens in Medellín and its Metropolitan Area, as a solution to fight malnutrition in the Antioquia population.

With the delivery of these orchards, the Government of Antioquia takes a step forward in the generation of food solutions and aims at the sustainable production of food in the Metropolitan Area. Many cities in the world have adopted this successful model that allows combating food insecurity, enabling access to nutrition since each family can choose what they want to plant and is involved with the protection of the planet.

The panorama of poor nutrition in Colombia is highlighted in the latest National Nutritional Situation Survey (ENSIN), according to which 7 out of every 100 school-age minors and 1 in 10 teenagers suffer from chronic malnutrition. 17.9% of the population between 13 and 17 years of age is overweight and 1 in 5 young people and adults is obese. In this sense, more than 28 million people in the country are overweight.

This initiative aims to transform the relationship between the countryside and the city through self-consumption gardens in homes. According to the FAO, about 700 million inhabitants in the world eat from their home grown crops.

“Guaranteeing food security for newborns, children, teenagers and adults, is a priority task for the Ministry of Agriculture, and for that we understand that access to food becomes essential and even more so in Antioquia where 78% of the population is urban and 22% is rural. For this reason, we finished the process of delivering 3,300 urban gardens in the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley, to generate conditions that allow the families of these main populated centers of the department to have access to a healthy and balanced diet in their own homes, with all nutritional guarantee”, said Rodolfo Correa Vargas, Secretary of Agriculture.

Edible gardens are an important way to solve the food problems of the future, since by 2050 it is estimated that it will be necessary to produce 70% more food to meet the needs of an additional 3 billion people. “With measures like the ones we are developing, we attend to the most critical needs of the present, given that today, 1 in 5 children in the urban areas of Antioquia suffers from malnutrition. This initiative, which emerged more than 100 years ago to combat a food crisis caused by war, is being applied today as a mechanism to address the great challenges posed by the right to food security in a post-pandemic world”, concluded Rodolfo Correa.

Rodolfo Correa, Secretary of Agriculture of the Government of Antioquia delivering the first urban crops to Antioquia families.

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Por qué invertir en Antioquia

Antioquia, the corner of America that is being valued for foreign investment

Due to its privileged geographic location, tax incentives, competitive infrastructure and high economic performance, among other virtues, the so-called “Corner of the Americas”, Antioquia, is positioned as one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investment to settle .

Antioquia has about 13% of the total Colombian population (around 6.5 million inhabitants) and a contribution of 14.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (153,518 billion pesos).

According to the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín, 265 investment projects have been executed since 2008, mainly from Chile, China, Spain, the United States, France and Mexico, among others, reporting 3,041 million Dollars.

It is a region with great investment possibilities for agribusiness, extractive industries, life sciences, manufacturing and services

Foreign companies such as Globant (Argentina), Farmacielo (Canada), MRO Avianca (Brazil), Grupo Sodimac (Chile), Valver (Spain), Avenger Fligth Group (United States), HWI – Haceb joint venture – Whirlpool (United States – Colombia ), Mane (France), One Link (Guatemala), Mitsubishi Electric (Japan), Incolmotos Yamaha (Japan), Airplan (Mexico), Mera Corporation (Mexico), Sana Commerce (Netherlands) and Westfalia (South Africa), have believed in the potential of the territory.

Antioquia offers for investment its high economic performance, access to competitive infrastructure, tax incentives for investment, abundant human talent with relevant training, and its quality of life, which makes it an excellent place to work and live.

In this regard, the governor of Antioquia, Aníbal Gaviria Correa, emphasized that: “as well as their business class and leader, all Antioqueños are people with capacity, talent, creativity and passion; without a doubt, human resources are the most important competitive factor in our department and the invitation to invest in the territory”.

Antioquia differs from other regions of Colombia for being the country’s most exporting department (close to 20% in 2019) and having a vibrant innovation ecosystem.

The government’s commitment to attracting foreign direct investment in the territory is mainly concentrated in sectors and economic activities in which Antioquia today has the skills to compete in the international markets, these sectors are:

  • Agricultural in the cultivation of hass avocado, cocoa, citrus, among others.
  • Livestock in the production of beef.
  • Life sciences with the production of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
  • Miner – energetic with gold mining.
  • Services in the development of software and applications, and the outsourcing of services: PBO, KPO, ITO.
  • Specialized manufacturing such as motion and associated industries.
  • Infrastructure and logistics.

“For ACI Medellín, expanding the vision of the Antioquia territory has been one of the key factors in the exercise of identifying the reasons that make us attractive for foreign direct investment. We are proud to see that we have so much to offer and that our biodiversity, geographic position, climatic situation, and population and cultural wealth make us a privileged environment for investors to prosper, “said Eleonora Betancur González, executive director of the Cooperation Agency and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín.

The commitment of the Government of Antioquia and the ACI Medellín is clear: to make investors fall in love with a fertile territory with great investment opportunities for agribusiness, extractive industries, life sciences, manufacturing and services; but, above all, that with the arrival of these companies, development is generated for the territory and its inhabitants.

What does Antioquia offer in terms of investment?

  1. High economic performance

The Departmental Competitiveness Index has classified Antioquia for 7 consecutive years as the second most competitive department in the country, due to diversification in the labor market and the adoption of Information and Communication Technologies – ICT in the business and industrial ecosystem . It stands out for presenting growth rates higher than the global average of the Colombian economy. Its business structure is diverse and at the same time specialized in the niches in which it operates. 

  1. Access to competitive infrastructure

The Antioquia territory has an ideal geographic location for import and export operations. Antioquia is considered “the corner of the Americas” because it connects the central and northern areas of the continent with South America. Thanks to the network of free trade agreements, Colombia provides access to about 60 countries with more than 1.5 billion consumers.

The construction of Puerto Antioquia and the Fourth Generation (4G) highways are planned, which will allow better land and port connectivity, and will offer competitive advantages by facilitating import and export, making the value chains of the installed investments more efficient .

  1. Tax incentives for investment

To promote economic development and job creation through the installation of new companies in the territory, different Antioquia municipalities contemplate tax incentives related to property, industry and trade taxes, as well as the complementary of notices and boards. The subregions of Oriente and Urabá stand out, as they have tax incentives that offer the possibility of having a 100% exemption on property and industry and commerce taxes during the first years of operation and a subsequent progressive discount. In addition, 55 municipalities in the department have a benefit in the special progressive rate of income tax until the year 2027.

It is important to note that Antioquia has 3 Permanent Free Zones, territories where important tax benefits are obtained for the companies established there.

  1. Well-trained and qualified human talent

Human talent is one of the most sought after resources in the department. 61% of the Antioquia population is of economically active age and 33% of the population is young, between 20 and 39 years old. Antioquia is the department with the second highest number of higher education graduates in Colombia, between 2001 and 2018 the total number of undergraduate and postgraduate graduates in Antioquia totaled 552 thousand people, which represents 13% of the total graduates in the country.

  1. Quality of life

Indicators such as the decrease in extreme monetary poverty, which in the last 15 years went from 17.8% to 5.6%, coverage of 98% of the inhabitants in the general social security system in health, access to 98.8% to the electric power service and 90.6% to the aqueduct service, are some of the advances of the social policies of the country and the department to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants.

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El aguacate es clave para el desarrollo de Medellín y Antioquia

Israeli agricultural entrepreneurs want to invest in Antioquia

Businessmen from Israel met with representatives of the Antioquia Government to learn about the strategies of the agricultural sector in the department. This approach becomes a fundamental step to further strengthen the competitiveness of the region in the agro-industrial sector in the lines of precision agriculture, irrigation systems and greenhouses.

The meeting is part of the “Why Antioquia?” strategy, managed between the Government of Antioquia and the ACI Medellín to boost the economy by attracting investors to the territory. In addition, the proximity to the Israeli Embassy and the FTA signed with this country this year were key to identifying the companies that would have a real interest in settling in the department.

The Governor of Antioquia, Aníbal Gaviria Correa, emphasized that the department is a leader in productivity in Colombia thanks to the presence of the most thriving business community in the country. Likewise, he stressed that “in these coming years, major transformations of the department’s competitive platform will be consolidated thanks to the construction of fourth-generation or 4G roads, the completion of Hidrohituango and the ports of Urabá, among others. These works added to the security and institutional stability are key elements that allow to invite investment from Israel and the world to our department and the country ”.

For Rodolfo Correa, Secretary of Agriculture of the Antioquia Government, “it is inspiring what Israel does in the modernization of the agricultural sector in matters of organizational models, technology transfer to increase the efficiency of the sector, among other advances and developments. Currently, in Antioquia we are intervening the territories to give true importance to the agricultural sector in the department, for this reason, having a strategic partner such as Israel is presented as an opportunity for investment, technology transfer, and access to different world markets , allowing the social, industrial and technological development of the department and the country ”.

For his part, the Israeli ambassador to Colombia Cristian Cantor, through a videotaped greeting, stated that: “agriculture is and will continue to be a main axis of relations between the government of Israel and Colombia. The companies that are presented at this event are among the best companies that Israel has to offer to Antioquia”.

Eleonora Betancur, executive director of ACI Medellín, emphasized that: “the commitment we have as a public entity is to facilitate the reactivation not only of Medellín but of the entire territory through investment that can generate wealth and jobs to improve the quality of life of the citizen”.

This meeting is strategic for Antioquia since a Free Trade Agreement with Israel was recently signed allowing preferential access to this market and a consequent increase in trade as a result of the reduction in transaction costs and the improvement in customs procedures. Antioquia has key products of the agro-industry to favor exports and investment such as Hass avocado, cocoa, citrus fruits and beef, among other products. In the case of Hass avocado, exports have grown by 40% in the last 4 years, to mention just one of the products with the most potential in the region.

The meeting was attended by entrepreneurs from TapKit companies, specialized in large-scale hydroponic systems for fresh culinary herbs, micro-vegetables and vegetables based on their own advanced growing methods; Agritask, which offers a platform designed to unite precision agronomy and business intelligence; ClariFruit, provider of optimization software solutions for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry; LR Group, which operates in the initiation, development, financing, construction and management of medium and large-scale projects in high-growth economies; and finally, Bean & Co, a global cocoa company that grows large-scale, sustainable cocoa plantations around the world.

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