COLOMBIA - Economy
Executive Director, Metropolitan Area (ACI Medellín)
Eleonora Betancur González is a sociologist from the University of Salamanca, with graduate studies in good governance and territorial public management from Pontifical Javeriana University, and a master’s degree in international relations and cooperation for development from the Barcelona Center for International Relations (CIDOB) in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has worked as head of the Andean Zone for the European Commission’s URBAL III Project, advisor on the construction of the guide for public policy on the internationalization of local governments for the Barcelona Provincial Council, director for International Relations Office, and general coordinator for the Americas Climate Change event, both for the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, with an extensive professional experience of nearly 15 years.
TBY talks to Eleonora Betancur González, Executive Director of Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area
(ACI Medellín) on economy sector.
What makes Medellín a good investment destination?
There are several reasons why we are an attractive destination to do business and attract investment. One has to do with a competitive and attractive environment. There are some enabling reasons for this. Some have to do, for example, with public policy, and we feature within the framework of a development plan at the center of which is Medellín a Software Valley. Its objective is to support a city whose plan is to become the epicenter of Industry 4.0 in Latin America as be an engine of development for the country and wider region. There are also certain enabling qualities such as the city’s robust economic performance. We have a strong production specialization and a business network and institutional trust earned over many years. We have sign agreements with the city administration, universities and civil society. We also have an excellent climate for doing business. The departmental competitiveness index, for example, has classified us over the past seven years as one of the most competitive regions according to various criteria, including human capital. Then there’s the market and innovative ecosystem in the city. Talent is truly abundant. Furthermore, the city offers a high quality of life by national standards, which is an incentive for many companies looking to set up in the territory.
How does ACI Medellín promote investment in the city?
ACI Medellín is a public agency which already has an important seal, differentiating it from other investment promotion agencies in the country. We have a mandate to attract foreign and local investment to the city, which we manage proactively. We focus on attracting investments in sectors that promote comprehensive development. In this way, we seek not only the contribution of investors, but also that these foreign companies contribute to the development of the city through social responsibility programs and strategies. Our contribution as an agency is to accompany the investor throughout the process. In other words, we also map and accompany them in the process of deciding to settle in our city. We have legal support, and proximity to a network of allies that can also support these companies’ strategies in finding talent and understanding the territory. Where they need dialogue with the mayor’s office and city government, we as an agency are that gateway to the city.
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