A trip to Medellín

By: Emilio Colón Zavala, Puerto Rico Builders Association Chairman

From August 21 to the 25th of 2018, the construction trade show EXPOCAMACOL was held in Medellín, Colombia. The show is organized by CAMACOL https://camacol.co/, which is the Colombian Construction Chamber of Commerce.

As chairman of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, I was invited by CAMACOL to attend the event and meet with several executives. I flew to Medellín on August 23 after Bisnow’s https://www.bisnow.com/ Caribbean Hospitality Investment Summit in Miami.

Once there, I participated in the mid show press conference to discuss early achievements. There, we learned that deals were completed for $22.5MM surpassing expectations for the first two days of the show.

Also, Puerto Rico was the jurisdiction with the third largest buyer participation. There is great interest in having additional sources of materials for our reconstruction. There, I got to meet Medellín’s Director of Economic Development.

After the press conference, I was given a tour of some of the exhibition space, that surpasses 250,000 square feet. Although, our focus was on automatization and concrete innovation in light of the new increased minimum wage reality.

We also met with engineer César Hernández-Correa, former director of planning and former director of Metroplus. We discussed the social and urban transformation of Medellín from one of the most dangerous cities to one recognized with by ULI in 2013 as the most innovative city in the world due to its recent advances in politics, education and social development. Also, in 2016, Medellín won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize https://www.leekuanyewworldcityprize.com.sg/. This award seeks to recognize and celebrate efforts in furthering innovation in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.

We will have the distinctive opportunity to hear about Medellín’s case study during our 45th Annual Convention: Building the Future, on September 20th, 2018.