Medellín seeks to unify the pace between economic growth and quality employment through foreign investment, innovation, commitment to strategic sectors and the knowledge economy.
The US multinational, Stanley Black & Decker has 175 years of operations and 93 years of experience in international expansion, which validates that its business relationships are successful and that its investments in Europe, America, Africa and the Far East are done by a specialist.
This premise gives double merit to Medellín, a city that was selected by that company to create a subsidiary of financial and commercial services for its other companies in America and create 200 direct jobs.
The company highlights that the capital of Antioquia has the capacity to provide high-quality commercial services. “It’s a growing city focused on innovation, with lots of talent and an attractive location to develop our world-class center and strategic initiatives,” says Jamie Ritter, Executive Director.
For its part, Genius Sport, the fastest growing technology, distribution and marketing company of sports data in the world, official ally of FIBA, the Premier League of England and of the NBA, expanded its global presence with new offices in Vilnius in Lithuania, California in the United States and in the capital of Antioquia.
“We opened offices in key cities such as Medellín to strengthen our reputation, resources and services, and respond to the growing demand in all regions around the world,” said Mark Locke, CEO.
But what has Medellín done to earn these merits? The primary action is to include the generation of quality employment in its public policy. Beyond lowering unemployment figures, this challenged the city to ensure decent work and motivate foreign investment and economic growth.
It has been gradually migrating to a knowledge economy, to better wages, a higher quality of life and to a higher average per capita income, even though it has great challenges around inequality.
Something very similar happens in the world. The growth of economies and breaking the unemployment numbers in red were the goals of many governments for years and meant positive results to overcome extreme poverty.
However, economic development and employment almost never progressed at the same pace and informality, forced labor, labor exclusion and inequality grew, which motivated the inclusion of decent work in one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Generating employment through foreign investment has been a strategy to comply with this SDGs in Medellín. Investment in the city grew 75% between 2016 and 2017, and to September 2018, it has exceeded 253.3 million dollars.
Medellín has qualified human talent and a wide academic offer.
In the last three years, 61 business projects have been installed in the city, 38 of which are new investments and 23 are for reinvestment. Together, they have created more than 7,200 jobs.
A City that Creates Trust
Although the previous figures are conclusive, it is much more remarkable that 31% of the projects are from the software and information and communications technology services, which demanded less investment (11% of the total capital). In addition, they are more impressive in quality employment, due to easy work schedules, conditions and professional promotion of those hired.
Among other companies that have settled in the city are Growth Acceleration Partners, Onelink and Unido, of the EE.UU.; Sana Commerce, from the Netherlands and Accenture, from Ireland. Additionally, investments have increased in: Hotels and lodging Real Estate, Wework, Selina, Marriott Hotel, Grupo Éxito, Renault, Schindler, POMA and Grupo Cala.
“In Medellín, we know how to solve problems due to our social history. The business leaders, the government and the academy meet constantly. They think as a team and make projects together to take the city forward,” highlights Catalina Restrepo Carvajal, Executive Director of ACI Medellín.
The institutionality is strong, regardless of leaders or whomever is in office, projects of previous administrations are not suspended. An example is the public transport model with tram (streetcar), metro, metrocable, metroplus (BRT) and integrated buses, as well as urban renewal with scenarios that foster new lifestyles for the community.
Jobs generated by business initiatives in Medellín
“Our public policy fosters the transformation of the business base, from industry to the economy of science, innovation, strengthening and formalization of strategic activities such as tourism, agro-industry and competitiveness with environmental conditions such as road infrastructure and air connectivity,” said María Fernanda Galeano Rojo, Secretary of Economic Development of Medellín.
When you arrive in Medellín, you find that the paisas are business leaders and entrepreneurs. They carry this in their DNA. The city is home to ten of the companies with the highest stock market value of the Colombian Stock Exchange, many of them Multi-Latin-American companies. We govern directly and with equity. Public-owned companies, such as EPM and Ruta N, are independent, profitable and with important social projects; and inhabitants want to tell their stories and receive the foreigner with kindness and diligence.
This is the beginning of master moves for Medellín as a resilient expert who wants to innovate, who knows how to reinvent itself and who has the experience to create and execute projects that make a difference.