Last week, Colombia’s ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Luis Diego Monsalve Hoyos, was in Medellín last week, when he held a meeting with Mayor Daniel Quintero and representatives of Medellín’s investment promotion agency ACI Medellín, with the stated objective of identifying areas and opportunities for projects of additional cooperation and investment.
Mayor Quintero ran for office on a pledge to remake Medellín as “Valle del Software” or “Software Valley,” and in a communiqué pointed to Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Yinchuan, Hangzhou and Chongqing as aspirational examples.
The investment agency also cited the potential for academic exchanges of teachers and students between China and Medellín, for the teaching of Mandarin and Spanish, and to offer scholarships to study higher education in China for teachers and students.
According to ACI Medellín, in the past decade, Chinese investments in Medellín have reached a $182 million USD and accounting for an estimated 465 jobs from 8 investment projects. The investments account for $26 million in annual economic activity, almost entirely in infrastructure and logistics.
Medellín is seeking Chinese investment in its “Metro de la 80” light passenger rail project, but the administration states that it is seeking Chinese investment in technology to support its “Valle del Software” strategy that is implemented in partnership with Ruta N, the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ProColombia and ACI Medellín. In a statement the mayor’s administration says it hopes to make Medellín the center of operations for Chinese companies operating in North & South America.