The leading development bank in the hemisphere, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will host its 2020 annual meeting in the coastal Colombian city of Barranquilla.
Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas confirmed the news this week following the IDB’s board of governors’ approval, and the mayor’s office of the Barranquilla celebrated the news in a statement.
“Today is a very important day for our city, due to the magnitude of the event that we are going to host in 2020,” stated the mayor’s office. “It is the most important international event that has come to Barranquilla.”
Colombia has previously hosted the event four times over the past six decades, mostly recently in 2009 in Medellín. The three other occasions came in 1968 in Bogotá following by 1982 and 1998, both in Cartagena.
The IDB assembly has previously drawn around 7,500 participants, according to Colombian financial magazine Portafolio.
Officials in the Caribbean city had been campaigning to host the event over the past year, including efforts from the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce and the local ProBarranquilla promotion agency.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance highlighted the news as a win that shows the value of the billions of dollars that have been invested in recent years to modernize the city, which due to its port has traditionally been an economic driver for Colombia. Improving tourism and transportation infrastructure, including upgrades to the city’s airport, have been a focus for officials.
To add to the scope of the event as attendees ascend on the coastal city, the Ministry of Finance added that it plans to work to bring associated academic and economic events to the nearby city of Santa Marta that will coincide with the assembly.
“For the country it will be an honor to serve as the 2020 host in Barranquilla, a city where the nation has made significant investments with the goal of making it as a destination for business tourism and conventions,” said Cárdenas.
Photo: The Port of Barranquilla. (Photo credit: Puerto de Barranquilla)