Medellín ready for the Inter-American Development Bank in March

· Culture, Economics, Tourism

The Inter-American Development Bank will have its 38th General Assembly in Colombia this year. The chosen place is Medellín, the second largest economical center of the country. It is expected an increase of four thousand foreign visitors to the country by that time, especially to Medellín. The Assembly will be celebrated between 27 and 31rst of March. By other the other hand, tourism has increased in Colombia in 13.5 percent in the last six years, thanks to the improvement of security in the country.

Medellín | BID – ColPass. The governor of the State of Antioquia, Luis Alfredo Ramos, said that the progress of the region in economics and society, has been possible to the commitment of its people in sectors like textile industry, mine, coffee, flowers, bananas, energy and huge works of infrastructure like the urban train (Metro de Medellín.)

These and many others, were the main reasons to make Medellín the official headquarters of the 38th General Assembly of the Inter-American Development Bank for March 2009. That would be also the time of the 50th Anniversary of that organization that has been involved in projects of development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IDB (or BID in Spanish), was founded in 1959 to support programs of development in Latin America, especially in what concerns economy and social development. It has two kinds of country members: 26 borrowing countries and 21 non-borrowing countries. United States, for example, is the biggest non-borrowing partner with a share of 30 percent, while the 50% is hold by the borrowing countries of Latin America and Caribbean. The most recent non-borrowing country is China, which participation has been very well appreciated.

The current president of the IDB is a Colombian diplomat, Luis Alberto Moreno.

Last December, president Álvaro Uribe announced in the Pabellón Blanco de Plaza Mayor in Medellín, that the city was selected to be the place of the General Assembly of IDB. In the ceremony, that was hold on 16th of December, Luis Alberto Moreno said that the city was an example of development, renaissance and optimism. President Uribe underlined then, that Colombia became a solid destiny for investment due to its improvement in security and social cohesion.

The Colombian economy has been considered as one of the ten best prepared economies to face the global recession, said Uribe in December.

On 27th of March, the second largest urban center of Colombia will open the gates to the members of the General Assembly of Governors of the IDB. It will attract also foreign and national visitors that will have the opportunity to see the changes in Medellín.

The urban renovation and the social impact of new spaces, will be the main context of the international summit. Elements like the construction of new public spaces, parks, libraries and educational centers, will be shown with proud by the city. Spaces that became the opportunity for the local population to access knowledge, culture and recreation to benefit the investment in development for the region.

Parque Explora, for example, is a huge park of 25 thousand meters square dedicated to science and technology. It is located at the north of the city, near the complex of two important universities: University of Antioquia and National University of Colombia. Parque Explora is also at the front of the Botanical Garden. The thematic park became a center of gathering for students of any age and teachers, to see science and technology in a way of amusement.

Plaza Botero is a huge space in Medellín downtown that exhibits the works of sculptor Fernando Botero. It is a real museum in an open area. The huge sculptures of the famous Colombian artists, stand on the Carabobo boulevard and near the traditional Berrío Square. Botero, who was born in Medellín in 1932, donated the works to his city.

The Botanical Garden was awarded with the National Prize of Architecture for its originality and beauty. It has been praised by many foreign critics as a model for greenhouses. It is a green 14 hectares wood in the middle of the city with numberless species of palms, trees, orchids and other plants. The garden has not walls to separate it from the rest of the city and, at the same time, it has a good security that makes the place an ideal space of relax, reading, walking and admiring nature.

Plaza Mayor has become the name of the international congresses for Medellín. It will be the plaza of the Assembly of Governors of IDB 2009. Plaza Mayor belongs to the complex of the Center for Conventions and Expositions of Medellín and it is considered one of the most modern ones of South America. It is located no far of the government headquarters of the State of Antioquia, La Alpujarra.

Plaza Mayor and La Alpujarra, the international heart of the city, are at the center of the main Medellín avenues and transport nets like Metro de Medellín, near also to tourists spots and the most prestigious hotels.

But Medellín is not the only place to see. It is the main urban center of a vast region with several places to discover. The city is the center of the so called Medellín Metropolitan Area, a region inside the Aburrá Valley, made by ten municipalities, from traditional towns like Caldas or Sabaneta to more modern districts like Envigado or Bello.

In Medellín it is possible to discover the wonders of the Colombian Andes: to visit a warm town like Santa Fe de Antioquia at the side of the Cauca River, two hours by car to the west of the city or to visit the east with a higher altitude in Rionegro town.

Traditional Andean towns rich in ecology, where it is possible to discover the identity of the Paisa, the Colombian sub-culture of the coffee regions that live in the states of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, plus some towns of Valle del Cauca and Tolima. The Paisas have a well won fame of hard workers, committed and creative. They are very proud of their land and progress and they are famous also for their natural welcoming.

That will be the Medellín that prepares herself to receive this international event in its soils. We are going to follow it with attention.


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