Monday, April 24, 2017

Toronto, Canada-based PharmaCielo announced July 25 that it paid US$5 million plus 1.7 million in equity shares for a 27-hectares farm and greenhouse-nursery facility in Rionegro, Antioquia, for development of a medical-marijuana cultivation and processing plant.


Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos and Transport Minister Jorge Eduardo Rojas Giraldo announced July 22 that a 45-days-long national truckers’ strike – aggravated by acts of violence and vandalism against non-strikers -- has finally been settled, much to the relief of freight shippers and receivers.

According to the settlement agreement, the government will establish “clear procedures” to facilitate monetary compensation to small-business truckers that participate in the national “scrappage” (chatarrizacion) program, which aims to cut the current over-supply of trucks.

That program also would help Colombia get rid of old, high-polluting, mechanically unsafe trucks, which compete unfairly against costlier, modern, low-pollution, mechanically sound trucks.

The current “chatarrizacion” program has been plagued by corruption and schemes whereby old trucks weren't actually scrapped, but just relabeled or fitted with parts from other trucks, according to the government.

“Our country needs a system of freight transport that is just, transparent and efficient, so that [freight shippers] pay fair prices and truckers are guaranteed their rights,” added Transport Minister Rojas.

Key points in the settlement agreement:

1. An immediate end to the truckers strike that had been promoted by four national trucking trade groups.

2. Updating of a published list of “reference costs” including highway toll-charges, fuel costs and maintenance costs. In certain trucking routes where there is a “significant difference” between real costs and reference costs, the national government will establish a temporary price with the help of a “Cargo Observatory” expert study group.

However, Colombian regulations no longer will include a table of freight-cost charges that had been developed in prior decades. Instead, the new scheme will allow “supervised,” free-market freight charges along with published reference costs.

3. The “chatarrizacion” program will continue the current policy whereby for each old freight truck destroyed, one new freight truck can enter the Colombian trucking market.

Funding for the “chatarrizacion” program will ensure that small-business truckers can be compensated for scrapping their old vehicles “without corruption, without intermediaries, without mafias,” Minister Rojas added.

The deal also calls for truck-driver employees to be paid what they’re actually owed and be treated with "dignity" at loading and unloading sites including Colombia’s ocean ports, the Minister said. A new study will be launched to investigate other trucker risks, possible retirement programs and housing-subsidy programs, he added.


Medellin’s 59th annual Desfile de Silleteros (Flower-Carriers Parade) this year is expected to draw more than 800,000 in-person visitors -- plus hundreds of thousands of TV viewers -- for an event that provokes amazement, tears, elation and pride.


Medellin’s novel “Ruta N” high-tech development center next to Universidad de Antioquia now boasts that it’s hosting some 135-odd companies from 22 countries (see http://distritomedellin.org/hacer-parte/) that have chosen to locate inside Ruta N itself or nearby.


Medellin’s novel “Ruta N” high-tech development center next to Universidad de Antioquia now boasts that it’s hosting some 135-odd companies from 22 countries (see  http://distritomedellin.org/hacer-parte/) that have chosen to locate inside Ruta N itself or nearby.


The 27th annual edition of Colombiamoda comes to Medellin’s Plaza Mayor July 26 through 28 in what show organizer Inexmoda describes as the most important clothing-fashion business fair in Latin America.


Sparked by the world’s richest avian diversity, bird-watching around greater Medellin, Antioquia, and Colombia continues to grow at an accelerated pace -- thanks to better organization, an improving security situation and better infrastructure.


Medellin’s investment promotion agency --“Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín y el Área Metropolitana” (ACI) –  announced July 6 that five Uruguay-based companies and two Brazil-based companies are eyeing new business launches or expansions here.


The latest report from Banco de la Republica -- Colombia’s national currency and banking regulator -- shows that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombian business sectors other than petroleum and mining has jumped 64% this year, to US$2 billion.


A new study by Colombia’s Superintendencia de Sociedades (corporations oversight agency) finds that national flower exporters realized a big jump in profits in 2015 versus 2014.


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SILLETEROS PARADE 2016 by JOHN AND DONNA STORMZAND (click to enlarge)

MEDELLÍN PHOTOS by Gabriel Buitrago (click to enlarge)

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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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