COLOMBIA - Economy
Former Executive Director, ProBarranquilla
Ana María Badel’s work and commitment to the development of Barranquilla began from the District Mayor’s Office, where she served as advisor to the special projects management. Since 2011, it has been part of ProBarranquilla, the entity in charge of connecting Barranquilla and the Atlantic with the global economy. She started as an investment promotion coordinator, promoting investment in the city and the department and facilitating the installation and expansion processes of investors in the region.
The work done at ProBarranquilla is key for the process of economic reactivation and recovery of Barranquilla and the state of Atlántico. We quickly adopted a strategy to turn this new reality into many more investment opportunities. First, the process of promotion and attraction of investment has been working well. We have changed airplane tickets for virtual tours, which has allowed us to reach markets that would have been hard to reach otherwise. From May to December, we reviewed our strategy and worked closely with the board in order to respond to the needs of the city and ProBarranquilla and identify opportunities that would allow us to respond to the demand of investors and the territory. One of the changes that emerged was the creation of a new area called Agenda Intersectorial del Territorio, which identifies the areas in which Barranquilla must work in order to be the best place for investors.
In the program Caribe Exponencial, we work with the Chamber of Commerce of Barranquilla, Universidad del Norte, Fundación Santo Domingo, Fundesarrollo, and ANDI to identify entrepreneurship projects that can have a great impact on the development of the region. We provide knowledge, contacts, support, and resources and help them get to the next phase. We are working on identifying the companies that fulfill the requirements and then allow them to access new markets and better products, which ultimately contributes to the generation of employment. We work with the national government and other organizations in order to help in the discussion of the possibility of the private sector acquiring the vaccines to tackle the pandemic. We have also been working on having a stronger department focused on data, because it is key to understand the territory and opportunities and promote the territory.
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