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

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

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

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

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

What are the benefits of being a special district?

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

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

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

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

What information is of interest and can be published?

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

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

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

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

In summary, the following topics were discussed:

What does the territory offer for investment?

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

What differentiates our territory?

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

We’ve shared the presentation [ here ]


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The international community supports Medellín’s peace building efforts

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following images show more details of this tour.

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Foreign investment dignifies the lives of the elderly in Medellín

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

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

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

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

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

habitaciones modelo Acalis
Rooms at Acalis

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


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

Mrs. Mercelena Montoya (85 years old)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comisión de la Policía Militar de São Paulo

Commission of the military police of São Paulo visited Medellín to lear about the achievement of the articulated strategy against crime

As an enriching experience for strategy exchange and an opportunity to recognize the positive changes in Medellin, the members of a commission from Military House of the Governor’s Office of State of São Paulo described the visit to the city, that during this week toured the facilities of the Secretariat of Security and Coexistence on the occasion of a binational exchange ordered from the Brazilian government.

The delegation acknowledged advances in technology, prevention and response of the Integrated Emergency and Security System.

It is of great importance that the efforts made in Medellín in terms of infrastructure, intelligence and coordination for security are internationally recognized. It’s often that people abroad believe that the city is still as it was in the 90’s and when they look closely at what we’ve achieved, they are surprised and wish to learn” said the Secretary of Security and Coexistence, José Gerardo Acevedo Ossa. 

The Secretariat of Security and Coexistence and the ACI Medellín served as hosts of the commission, which fulfills the visit ordered by the Governor of the State of São Paulo. This is one of the many international visits that we attend constantly to share knowledge and formalize partnerships.

Comisión de la Policía Militar de São Paulo

The delegation from the State of Sao Paulo’s Military Police’s Command Plan consisted of Lieutenant Colonel Anísio Araújo Dos Santos (director of the Administrative Department), Captain Rodrigo Fiorentini (director of the Humanitarian Logistics Center), Ricardo Cledson Leito Dos Passos (Planning Division), Hugo Valentín Kroll Miranda (Captain of the Military Police of Sao Paulo) and Rafael de Vitro Salvador (Heritage Centre).

“Medellin is a very nice and orderly city, the Secretariat of Security is very technologically advanced, like what we have in Sao Paulo. We were really impressed. We came here to learn about transformation and integration”, said Captain Miranda.

Among the data presented to the neighboring country’s commission, we highlight the progressive reduction of homicides in Medellin in recent years, today by -4% compared to the previous year, which makes it the most peaceful of the last four decades, and the technological capacity that includes 2,890 cameras integrated into SIESM and the Carbyne and ICAD subsystems, which operate similarly in the city of São Paulo.

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A Tour for Peace. Memoria Sonora para la Paz “Resistir hasta el final” (Resistance until the end)

“Resistir hasta el final” (resistance until the end) is the name of the song written by Eunice Vergara brave, strong and fighting woman, who, despite having lived in the midst of the armed conflict in Cauca, continues to believe in and bet on building peace. Because of this, her song has become the theme song of the Memoria Sonora para La Paz (Sound Memory for Peace) Tour.

I feel very deeply. Seeing how things can truly be accomplished when we put in our best efforts. What I find most important is that these songs will reach the hearts of many people and will travel the whole country,” said Eunice Vergara.

With a suitcase full of dreams and a recording team, we arrived at the north of the Cauca department, to record songs, poems, testimonies, and reflections from many artists and organizations. This material became a document of resistance and dignity, which contributes to building peace and harmony, and confirms once again that music is a tool for social change.

The tour allowed artists from the municipalities of Suárez and Buenos Aires, Cauca, to come together for the musical, artistic and cultural creation, and performances of their communities. We collected demonstrations, expressions, feelings and practices of children, teenagers, women, and men who peacefully confront the violence that affects the territory. This process is the possibility of continuing to consolidate a legacy for the country in terms of art and culture for peace.

“At Fundación PLAN we are convinced of the power of art and culture in peace building, not just to stop the war, but to remind society the importance of not repeating our violence; it is also a mechanism that tells our country’s history. Art is the greatest form of resistance, and the most important form of resistance in a conflict such as what has been lived in Colombia, every bullet fired in our country had a song, a poem, or a work of art in parallel” said Gustavo Quintero, Vice-President of Fundación PLAN.

For this process we’re working with César López, ambassador of Fundación PLAN, a musician from Bogota and an artist committed to building peace. “Hope will always be alive. I invite you to follow us on this path and together we can heal all wounds and build a better country”, concludes César López.

This May 11 at 3:00 pm we will start the Memoria Sonora Tour in the Casa de la Memoria Museum located at Cl. 51 # 36 – 66, where there will also be an exchange of experiences with groups from Comuna 13, will be an afternoon full of music and great stories of peace building from art and culture.

This process is promoted from EmpoderArte por la Paz, a project implemented by Fundación PLAN in partnership with National Forum for Colombia-South West Chapter and Otra Escuela Corporation, financed by the Swedish Agency for International Cooperation for Development, SAICD.


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20 years of the ACI Medellín deserve the recognition given by the French Chamber of Commerce

With pride, the ACI Medellín received a special recognition from CCI France Colombia and its general director, Pedro Valero, for its 20 years of experience. He highlighted that the work between the two entities and especially between Medellín and France has been essential in raising cooperation and investment resources that allow the growth and development of our territory.

This is an honorable recognition for so many citizens who have benefited directly and indirectly from the projects in which international cooperation and investment have been present thanks to the Agency’s management.

With approximately USD 500 million in investment and USD 2.5 million in cooperation, France has one of the best relationships with Medellín. Companies such as Renault Sofasa, Grupo Éxito, Decathlon and Poma are some of the most outstanding companies that have arrived in the territory.

French companies in Colombia invoice more than 20 billion euros per year and generate more than 120 thousand direct jobs.

In the 20 years of its history, the entity has managed 21 foreign direct investment projects with France that represent an investment amount of 496.17 million dollars, of which 51.40% are focused on investments in the manufacturing sector and 41.98% in the commerce sector.

Likewise, the city has received more than USD 2.5 million in cooperation, for projects focused on sustainable mobility, environment and biodiversity, urban planning and culture. One of the works that stands out the most in the city thanks to cooperation resources was the Ayacucho Tramway. The French Development Agency (AFD) managed to finance a large part of this project.

For Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations of the ACI Medellín, “the relationship with France and specifically with the French Chamber of Commerce is a strategic issue for the entire city, because, thanks to the companies and resources achieved through cooperation, we’ve managed to generate jobs for thousands of people and carry out projects that have led the way towards our dream of a Medellín of the Future.”

Pedro Valero, general director of CCI France also stated: “It’s essential for our entity to have allies in supporting the attraction of investment to the country and to Medellín; For this reason, the ACI Medellin is a strategic actor in the development of relations between France and the city due to its knowledge, experience and access to the key actors in Medellín”.

Currently, French companies are interested in participating in large projects in the city and region, such as Puerto Antioquia and the 80th Avenue Metro Line, considering the impeccable track record that companies such as Poma, GreenYellow and Alstom have delivered for projects such as the tramway, Metro cables and generation of renewable energy.

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Medellin’s children are educated with the best technology and innovation

In Medellín, the Software Valley’s strategy also reaches the youngest parts of society. Nearly 370 children at the Lusitania Buen Comienzo kindergarten, located in the San Cristóbal district of the city’s rural zone, children receive education with high standards of innovation that facilitates their learning.

“This kindergarten is just as good, if not better than any other kindergarten,” says Susana Zapata, mother of María José Yepes, a child who benefits from this modality, achieved thanks to international cooperation with the affiliate of the U.S. foundation United Way in Colombia.

Susana Zapata, mother of María José Yepes, one of the 370 children served by the Buen Comienzo Lusitania Kindergarten.

This educational scenario, which is part of the comprehensive offer for early childhood of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin through the Special Administrative Unit Buen Comienzo, not only has an infrastructure that is physically and aesthetically created to promote learning environments for children, but also contemplates pedagogy and the use of technology as stimulants for the development of 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and collaborative work.

The kindergarten, which began operating in 2018 under the operation of Comfama, began a process in 2019 to implement innovative techniques and become a benchmark for good practices in early childhood. Thus, United Way Colombia, a foundation recognized for its work in education in the country, decided to support the kindergarten to turn it into a demonstration center.

What is a demonstration center?

It’s not a made-up concept, it’s an experience that has been worked on in other contexts around the world. Medellin referred to the United Way Center of Excellence in Early Education in Miami, which has already come a long way and adapted these methodologies to the needs of the children benefiting from the kindergarten, as well as those of the educational agents interested in innovating their early childhood care practices with technology.

We’ve been fortunate enough to be accompanied by this wonderful team that has nurtured me a lot in 21st century competencies, in pedagogical experiences and the STEAM Squad. Thankfully, they’ve innovated a lot, they’ve brought a lot of technology, and materials to introduce innovative and quality educational experiences,” says María Janet Arango, an educational agent at the kindergarten.

Facial recognition equipment, electronic circuits, 3D pencils and printers, cameras, voice recorders, among others, are some of the technological elements and pedagogical materials used by the children in the company of the educational agents. “We are equipped with very good material, technological material that the children did not have access to. Other kindergartens don’t have access to these materials. The children analyze and present their ideas, they answer more complex questions, and we can see that their early childhood is being strengthened, they take this knowledge to their homes so the families can also contribute from their points of view.”, said María Janet.

The kindergarten has developed strategies to bring families closer, taking into account co-responsibility as the most important educational agent in the learning process. This is why the kindergarten includes families in different activities and talks, as Cindy Ramirez, educational agent, explains: “We’ve involved the parents so that they know about the work we’ve been doing with the children and that they are also part of this process. Some parents have asked us how we have ensured that the tools are used properly or to tell us that they are proud that the kindergarten includes the use of technological tools. 

Susana Zapata, one of the parents, said “the relationship between families and the kindergarten is good thanks to the communication between them. I had the opportunity to really see what the children learn at school with the demonstration center, and it’s very nice because the children learn that technology is not only used for games but also as a means of learning, very responsibly. It’s inspiring to see how the children are learning here.”.

An expanding model for the city

On the road to becoming a Software Valley, Medellín has developed programs and projects to take advantage of the territory’s potential and diversify the city’s economy in areas associated with the digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this journey, the city has understood that to truly achieve a change in mentality, long-term actions are required that permeate the future of society, in this case early childhood.

In this regard, the director of the Special Administrative Unit Buen Comienzo, Hugo Diaz says: “this commitment in the kindergarten is directly linked and related to our purpose of city: Software Valley. This is one of the examples that technological transformation is fundamental in all city scenarios and, therefore, today our children enjoy this center, and we hope that this commitment can continue to be implemented in other kindergartens in the city because in Medellín Futuro children are also part of the transformation“.

After three years of learning at the Buen Comienzo Lusitania Kindergarten, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, in partnership with United Way Colombia, plans to expand the model so that children in every district of the city have access to learning based on technology and innovation, thus creating a demonstrative network for early childhood in the city. Although it is an ambitious projection, the formative and inspiring practices that have been achieved in the education of children in Lusitania will serve as a pilot for this expansion to become a reality.

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Medellín ha recibido una cooperación de más de USD 1.2 millones del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

International cooperation of Barcelona encourages Medellin to be a more inclusive Eco-city

María Nazaret and Jesús Enrique don’t know eachother personally, but they both have something in common: they have been beneffitted by the Barcelona Solidaria program; the former as a homeless person, and the latter as a farmer in the Santa Elena township. They are part of the 13 programs and projects of our city that, since 2020, have recieves about 1,1 million euros from international cooperation.

Jesús Enrique is one of the 25 food producers of the Rutas de Siembra project that seeks to strengthen plot productivity, promote the circular economy and provide associative, community, business and environmental support.

25 farmers from Santa Elena benefit from the cooperation with Barcelona for production, marketing and environmental awareness in food cultivation.

His farm is located near the Arví Metrocable station, a route well known by thousands of tourists that each weekend, come to this township to experience nature at its finest. “Don Jesus’s Farm” as known by most of his neighbors, is filled with color, thanks to all the fruit and vegetables sowed there. Tomatos of all shapes, colors and sizes, lettuce, rosemary kale and cabbage are just some of the products grown by this kind and friendly man.

“The Rutas de Siembra project has helped us with marketing, they’ve provided training sessions on selling, focused on tourism and agriculture, to attend the community’s needs and produce cleanly and organically” says Jesús when reffering to this project that has access to more than 500 million pesos in cooperation resources managed by the NGO “Antioqueños Unidos in Catalonia for Colombia” and executed by Comfenalco.

For Maryori Londoño, Township manager of Medellín, “From the Management we’ve helped with guarantees as well as with the achievement and accompaniment of the producers that this project has helped. Through Rutas de Siembra, it has been possible to train and educate 25 producers located around the Comfenalco Hotel and its surrounding area, and in this process they’ve also been provided with the creation of access routes to commercialize their products in the Arví market and with the hotel also buying their products”.

María Nazaret, is part of another project benefitted from cooperation with Barcelona. She is a homeless woman that, alongside of her dog, Lulo, who she considers her child, lives paralel to the Medellín River in the Minorista sector of the city. Each weekend, they’re visited by workers for the Surgir Corporation, that provide them with toiletry kits, as well as with information and education regarding personal care and wellbeing, to reduce damaged caused by drug consumption; but most improtantly, they provide them with a space where they can be heard.

The Barcelona ABD foundation and the Surgir Corporation, with the support of the MAyor’s office of Medellín, has retaken the Listening Centers project, to strengthen the work focused on harm reduction from drug consumption through practices that can help the homeless to take awareness of their health.

Medellín ha recibido una cooperación de más de USD 1.2 millones del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

Walking through the are surrounding the river, where hundreds of people affected by homelessness live, is now a task being accompanied by the international community, who consider that a homeless person is an important part of society are therefore, we must work towards their wellbeing, understand the path that led them to where they are and, most importantly, dignify their day to day lives.  

More than 500 homeless inhabitants of Medellin have been accompanied by professionals that are helping them mitigate damage caused by drug consumption. 

For Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations of the ACI Medellin “During the validity of the Medellin Futuro Development Plan, the ACI Medellin in alliance with other secretariats and entities of the local government have managed and supported 13 projects that have a direct impact on social and rural development strategies; these projects add up to 1.1 million euros and it is a clear sign that Medellín is one of the great centers of international cooperation in Latin America”.

Since 2006, Medellín has addep up 1,8 million euros in cooperation with Barcelona, with projects focused on culture, urban planning, infants, youth and women, among others.

This shows clear evidence that the relationship between Medellin and Barcelona is passing through one of its best moments, thanks to alliances for development, managed by the private and local sectors and reaching some of the most vulnerable populations.

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Sana Commerce expands its business further from Medellin to the rest of the world

“This is not our arrival, but a blast off into an exciting new future. The great success over the last years and the rapid growth in business functions serving now multiple regions has proved that we can do a lot more from our main Latin-America Hub here in Medellín.” says Joep Beliën, Country Head of Sana Commerce LATAM, talking about the reasons that have made them choose and continue to grow in Medellin.

Sana Commerce is a Dutch company founded in 1992 that arrived in Medellín in 2018 with the objective to explore the possibility of offering their services to Latin-, and North-America from this city; however, they did not think that their growth would be so fast and that they would find all the institutional support and specialized talent they needed with such success.

For this reason, they have decided to open a new Latin-America headquarters to house the current 42 employees, and the 20+ employees that they are expecting to add to the team this year (that is a 100% growth in 2022 in total). “The talent together with our unique culture at Sana Commerce are our biggest drivers of our success” says Joep Beliën, “This new office is not only a symbol of our success in the past, but also an enabler of our culture in the future. We ask everyone to come in at least 2 days a week, but many come in more. It’s a place to work, it has places to relax, and we really connect with each other. That’s how we overcome even the greatest challenges”.

Jonathan Ballesteros, Director of Local and International Relations of ACI Medellin, says that “Sana Commerce is the example of a company that not only chooses to come to Medellin, but also finds all the support from institutions such as ACI Medellin, Ruta N and ProColombia to continue growing and expanding its operations”.

They currently have complete operational departments in Medellin for Software Development (.NET + ERP developers), Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Project managers, Consultants, Product Specialists, Customer Support and corporate functions HR, Recruitment and Finance – Serving both the North-, and Latin-American region.

For Joep Belien, “We settled here because of Medellín’s’ focus on IT and engineering education, the startup environment, the entrepreneurship and the supportive government and business environment. The Sana Medellin office has not only grown in terms of team size, but also in terms of roles. In addition to a sharp increase in the size of the commercial and delivery organization for the Americas, business support functions such as HR, Recruitment and Finance are now also based here. In addition to that, we’re looking to drive new business development in North-America from here in Medellín, next to the existing sales we already manage from here for Latin-America.”

Carlos Jaramillo, Manager of the Talent and Employability Portfolio of Ruta N, assures that “Sana Commerce is a success case of Ruta N’s landing program where we facilitate the landing of companies in the city. This demonstrates the importance of continuing to create value from our proposal of talent, networks, workspaces and connection with digital services in Medellin, articulated with the ACI Medellin and ProColombia”.

Sana Commerce Medellin serves an increasing number of clients in the North-, and Latin American time zone, works closely together with the New York City office and gets the support to keep this growth going. “We are one of the fastest growing regions globally”, concluded Beliën.

Check all the vacancies for Medellín HERE


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Smart City Technology & The Digital Opportunity in Medellín

The Agency for Cooperation and In- vestment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area (ACI Medellín) pro- motes cooperative and collaborative alliances to strengthen the development of Medellín and its surrounding areas. ACI Medellín is particularly active in the knowledge sharing and innovation spaces and ACI Medellín believes that it is critical to engage with actors across the ecosystem

to cultivate innovation. Smart city policy and the digital opportunity are key factors for “Medellín Futuro”, the city’s local development plan. In order to maintain its position as an attractive city for business and glob- al cooperation, ACI Medellín seeks to strengthen its knowledge sharing and innovation apparatus.

ACI Medellín is proud to present the following brief in collaboration with Mohammad Zia, a Sinclair-Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University and an International Fellow at the Institute for Technology and Society in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ITS Rio). Mohammad is researching the role of emerging technologies in promoting econom- ic development and inclusion in Latin America.


Mohammad Zia (Harvard University and  ITS Río de Janeiro)

Natalia Currea Dereser (Knowledge and innovation leader-ACI Medellín)

Juan Camilo Betancur Rendón (Knowledge and innovation team- ACI Medellín).

The document is available bith in English and Spanish

El documento está disponible en Español e Inglés


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The Mayor’s Office of Medellín and Linkedin – Microsoft will award 25,000 training fellowships for 4.0 industries

Thanks to an alliance between the Mayor’s Office of Medellín and LinkedIn-Microsoft, 25,000 training fellowships on topics related to 4.0 Industries, will be delivered to citizens through the Talent Industry program that seeks to develop the skills of the city’s residents and form them for jobs of the future with the goal of increasing labor insertion in different áreas of the technology sectors.

Registration is now open and will be until quotas are filled. Citizens between the ages of 16 and 59 can participate by registering at:

The 11 training paths include: data analysis, software engineering and analysis, UX, e-commerce, site design, and many others. Those who wish to participate must live in Medellín, be between 16 and 59 years old, have a high school, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree, among some other requirements that can be found at The registration process must be completed at this website starting this Tuesday, March 22nd.

“From the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, we are investing all we have all in our young population, because we believe in you, and we’re convinced that every cent invested is worth it. The education that we are delivering today will build the society we wish to have and because of this, we invite you all to participate and benefit from this opportunity” said Mayor Daniel Quintero Calle.

This program is possible thanks to the Reentrenamiento Pertinente (Relevant Retraining) strategic project, led by the Secretariat for Economic Development and Sapiencia. This project has the goal of training up to 50.000 talents in topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Up until now, the project has already delivered 20.000 fellowships. The goal for 2022 is to deliver more than 30.000, among which are found Linkedin courses and routes for specialized talent.

“Many opportunities are beginning to converge in Medellin, we’ve began to see the private sector beginning to grow in terms of technology, influencing companies such as Microsoft and LinkedIn to begin to look at Medellin and its potential for growth in its region (…) We’ve seen a great trend in software engineers and people working on technology,  data and artificial intelligence issues. This shows the great value and potential that the city has”, said Mickael Martiquet Remy, Public Sector Lead – LinkedIn for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, during the launch event, five students from some of the city’s educational institutions, who are currently in their last years of high school and finishing technical/associates degrees in topics related to new technologies, were appointed as ambassadors of the call with the intention of promoting enrollment for this opportunity in schools.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, by 2025 it is projected that 85 million jobs will disappear, but, in turn, due to the acceleration of technological change, 97 million new jobs will be created.

Given this scenario, the Local Administration is participating in strategic alliances with companies such as LinkedIn, a very useful tool for engaging companies and their workforces. It is part of Microsoft, one of the most important multinationals in the technology sector in the world, and in addition to this, it’s a social network that has 575 million users, 260 million of them active; 10 million of these active Linkedin users are in Colombia.

“This talent war is our opportunity to offer a unique opportunity to our youth and the future generations in Medellin, so that through the innate talent they already have, they can train it and attract companies to invest in advanced digital service centers and research centers. and development to finish consolidating and turning Medellín into a Software Valley”, said Javier Galvis, Microsoft’s General Manager.

This company conducted a market study in which they found that technology-based jobs that have the higher demands in Medellín are: software engineer, technology salesperson, technical leader, data scientist, software leader and project developer, UX designer, among others. This diagnosis inspired the program’s offer.

The agreement is achieved at a time of transformation for the city’s vocation, led by the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, and with an investment of $1,584 million. This, in its purpose to consolidate the city as a Software Valley, performs strategies that generate new opportunities for the population and labor investment in jobs that are based on the use of new technologies.

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FreshWorks, a Canadian technology Company, opens their first international office in Colombia

With a projection of investment in Colombia of close to a million dollars by 2023, FreshWorks Studio opens its software development and digital solutions office in Medellín. This Canadian company which began operations in Medellin in January 2022, with most than 100 members currently on their team from around the world and plan to have at least 250 people, in about three years, working to offer innovative solutions to different companies. 

Some of the reasons why FreshWorks Studio chose Medellín were the city’s human talent, the positive diplomatic and commercial relations between Canada and Colombia, a integrated and compatible time zone, ease in intercultural work, geographic proximity and good air connection between both countries, among others.   

For Abhas Srivastava, FreshWorks Studio’s Country Manager for Latin America “The talented people we’ve met here so far are exactly the kind of collaborators we need to help grow our team. Colombia is a rising star in the global technology industry, and we are excited to add our offices in Medellín and Bogotá to contribute to this growth”. 

Colombia and Medellin are now recognized as technological centers with great international projection thanks to their competitive costs, quality higher education and their people’s talent and professionalism.  

For Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, “FreshWorks Studio’s decision to open its first international office in Medellín ratifies the country’s potential as an export platform for technological solutions and services for the region and the world. We are very pleased with this vote of confidence, that will contribute to the growth and development of our talent and the IT sector in Colombia”. 

Eleonora Betancur, executive director of the ACI Medellín, says that “The city is open to companies from around the world that want to continue growing and offering their services from this Software Valley. Additionally, today more than ever, universities and educational institutions are aware of the need to train our youth and form them into valuable professionals for all local and international companies wanting to project themselves, from Medellín, to the entire world”.

For its landing in the city, FreshWorks Studio also had the support of Ruta N, which will now be the entity in charge of connecting the Canadian company with the best of local IT talent.

All services and lines of business will be managed from Colombia; this includes project management, consulting, UX/UI design, software development, and web and mobile application testing. 

FreshWorks Studio topped “Clutch” Leaders Matrix which showcases the top companies in Canada’s app development market in 2022; they’ve also been recognized as the Top Canadian B2B Leader in 2022 on 

They currently have different vacancies open for developers and other technology professionals in Colombia. See all the options at: [ here ]


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200 million dollars in foreign investment during 2021, confirms Medellin as an attractive territory to the world.

A total of 22 foreign investment projects were reported by the ACI Medellín in 2021, which represented more than 20 million dollars, and around 3.700 new Jobs will be generated thanks to the territory’s foreign investment management.

Since 2008, the ACI Medellín managed a total of $8.2 billion pesos in raising cooperation resources and attracting investment resources, improving the quality of life of citizens with the creation of new jobs and an economic benefit that It is reflected in different economic sectors.

The figure reported by the ACI Medellín is part of a set of actions to attract investment and cooperation management that have been key for economic reactivation.

For Eleonora Betancur, executive director of the ACI Medellín, “2021 became a year set on recovering hope and seeing the economic reactivation that our city had thanks to the union of all of society’s actors.  The investment and cooperation were fundamental allies for creating new job opportunities and to dynamize the economy, injecting capital and guaranteeing that all our citizens can continue bettering their quality of life after so many months of isolation and economic recession due to the pandemic”.

“Medellin and its international allies”, was an event of hope for the whole city, as it took place in person, gathering more than 300 international guests and more than 1.300 visitors to the city. 53 projects from 28 secretariats and entities of the public conglomerate were presented in a project fair that brought together ambassadors, binational chambers, investment funds and mayors from different cities around the country and the world, to side along the entities of our public conglomerate to initiate relations that’ll allow the attraction of cooperation and investment Medellín.

The “Conexión sin Fronteras” program (Connection without Borders) became a successful medium to attract paisas and Colombians that live abroad to contribute with their knowledge, to citizens, businesses, and entities in Medellin. 60 talents connected from more than 15 counties to develop chats about technology, creative industries, bilingualism, exportations, migratory processes, urbanism and informatic security, among others, allowing many people to benefit from this knowledge for free and close to their needs.

This management done by the entity through international relations has a direct impact on the city’s development and can be seen in the Return on Investment (ROI) indicator, which indicated that, for each peso that enters the ACI Medellín budget, $16 pesos are managed in cooperation and $420 pesos in investment, in addition to the results that are not accounted for in financial resources, but rather in job creation, for example.

The management that the agency performs for the coming of new cooperation and investment projects to the city starts from the identification of countries, businesses, public or private entities, international networks, among others, that are interested in working with Medellín or, in the case of investors, installing their businesses in the territory.

Once the investment or cooperation project is installed, the resources are used to build the necessary infrastructure for its operation, the hiring of personnel and the arrival of people from other countries who will come to live alone or with their families, which stimulates tourism, housing, education, transportation, food, among other sectors.

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The British company, Genius Sports has its largest workforce outside the U.K, in Colombia

Medellín’s reputation for innovation and its potential in digital technology; were some of the reasons that motivated Genius Sports to choose the cityas its first venue in Latin America. The main goal that led to this decision was to be able to offer a 24/7 service and increase the corporate presence in the region.

This company, whose main clients are the main betting houses around the world and the national football federations, provides various types of services: from technological support for live broadcasting, to data monitoring and sport bets training.

Additionally, they are also in charge of building new solutions for fan participation and the development of technological tolos, all done from Medellín.

The results that its presence in the region has brought along is a reciprocal benefit, as this has not only brought more employment and trade to the region, but has also allowed the company to generate long-term alliances with many of the leagues and the largest sports federations around the continent -400 worldwide-. Among these are the AFA (Argentine Football Association), the Dimayor (Colombian Football Major Division) and the MX League (Mexican League), among others for volleyball and basketball.

Genius Sport’s mission with the sports industry goes beyond providing technological support for betting.

“Our solutions range from live streaming and OTT platforms – audio, video and content transmission, over the internet without the involvement of traditional operators -, to data collection and competition management software, as well as a wide variety of tools for sports -and their federations- to attract and monetize their fans”, said Karlo Kivi, General Manager for Genius Sports in Medellín.

Regarding its association with Dimayor, the british company provides its services to help preserve Colombian soccer from the threats of match-fixing and corruption in relation to betting. Additionally, the Major Division of Colombian Soccer also granted the exclusive rights to capture, distribute and commercialize the official data and live video transmissions with the global network of sports betting partners.

“The growth on Genius Sports in Colombia vote of confidence from the multinational to the country, its recent asociation with Dimayor will contribute to the visibility and positioning of our sports, it is also a reflection of the growth in british investment in our country and its diversification” assured Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.

For Eleonora Betancur, executive director of the ACI Medellín “Our region continues to be projected as an epicenter for technological development thanks to companies such as Genius Sports that trust in the talent and quality of life that we offer to foreign investment. The articulation between the public, private and academic sectors guarantee that the established companies can have great growth and projection in the short and medium term, generating quality of life and development at all levels of our society.”.

With over 500 employees, Medellin represents Genius Sports’ largest team outside of the UK.

On top of all this, and thanks to its recent listing on the New York Stock Market, the Company has plans to expande ven more in all places where they’re currently operating. “Currently, we have dozens of roles open in Medellín, the goa lis to keep on growing and therefore open many more” added Kivi.

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Medellín and Barcelona seal agreements for the social, environmental, cultural and educational development for both territories

Medellín and Barcelona will strengthen relations between the two cities through the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed by mayor Daniel Quintero and mayor Ada Colau, who was represented by Barcelona’s lieutenant mayor, Laia Bonet, during the official event.

The MOU also aims to strengthen bonds of friendship, collaboration and cooperation. Some of the key areas in which cooperation will take place are promotion of social rights, governance, cultural rights, among others.

The agreement seeks to implement cooperative actions based on the exchange of knowledge and good practices in local public policy and strategic management of governments, to improve the delivery of public services and achieve greater well-being for citizens.

Some of the key areas on which cooperative actions will be taken are promotion of social rights, knowledge management, fight against inequality, governance and the guarantee of protection of human rights through actions that contribute to peace-building, cultural and educational rights, right to the city and environmental justice, among others.

“Medellín and Barcelona are two cities that are working today to eliminate inequalities, transform realities of their citizens and share those experiences that will empower us. We are two cities that are working to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the new challenges posed by the pandemic. Medellín is committed to transform into a Software Valley and we consider Barcelona an ally for that purpose,” said mayor Daniel Quintero Calle.

The mission of the Mayor of Medellín in Barcelona represents a new opportunity to promote, develop and strengthen city bonds. Since 2016, Barcelona has led important projects that have been developed together with Medellín for an amount of USD $1,8 million for education and culture, urban planning and sustainability, social and economic development and peace building, security, and coexistence.

Similarly, in terms of investment, from 2008 to 2021, USD $214 million have been reported, in general with Spain, in sectors such as life sciences, service outsourcing, trade and technology services.

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“Conexión Sin Fronteras” brougth knowledge and experience to more than one thousand entrepreneurs and citizens of Medellín

Nearly 1,000 citizens participated on workshops, consultancies, and conferences with 60 Colombian talents abroad who connected from countries such as Oman, Norway, France, Spain, United States, Sweden, Korea, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, among others.

The “Conexión Sin Fronteras” program was born with the aim of attracting Colombian talent abroad to train Medellín citizens.

As expressed by Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations at ACI Medellín, “The ‘Conexión Sin Fronteras’ program has been a success for so many citizens who have been able to receive training, workshops and advice from Colombian experts living abroad. Thanks to this diaspora we were able to develop talks on topics such as technologies, tourism, creative industries, bilingualism, exports, migration processes, urbanism and computer security, among others, making many people benefit from this knowledge free and close to their needs.”

The 90 events and more than 202 hours of knowledge-transfer benefited 30 companies and 1,000 people in the city; in addition, the project was led together with the Secretariat of Youth and the Secretariat of Women to impact their audiences with special customized themes.

For Medellín to be a Software Valley, we must have human talent specializing in science, technology and innovation to connect the world’s opportunities set here in the city, that’s why along with ACI Medellín we had a great program where we identified the 60 most talented professionals who had left the city, who we ‘recovered’ to be part of the Software Valley. We are fortunate to have such great results and we will continue moving forward toward achieving the dream of connecting Medellín with the world,” said Alejandro Arias, secretary for Economic Development.

Among the outstanding overseas talents that supported the program were Sandra Cano, U.S. Senator from the State of Rhode Island, who spoke about women in politics, sharing her story on how she migrated from Medellín to the United States at the age of 16, and now she has an influential political position in that country.

Sixty Colombians abroad connected from more than 15 countries on five continents to share their experiences and learnings with entrepreneurs and the community. 

Oscar Chamat, responsible for research and policies in Metropolis, participated talking about the development of cities from the field of tactical and strategic urbanism, while Andrés Restrepo, writer and filmmaker who lives in Argentina talked about advising film and documentary projects in that country. One of the three “paisas” (people form Antioquia) that is currently working at NASA, Ricardo Restrepo, who was born in the municipality of Andes, Antioquia, and is now working on the design of space vehicle trajectories for NASA-JPL, California, with the group that designs missions to planets such as Mars and Jupiter, was also one of the program’s participants.

Conexión Sin Fronteras’ was the ideal platform for me to meet face to face with Antioquian entrepreneurs to whom I was able to share my knowledge and experience for their endeavors by means of a pitch and an appropriate oratory to American and foreign investors,” said Alejandro Echeverri, director of U.S. Investment for ProColombia for the southeastern United States and who has lived outside the country for more than a decade.

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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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