Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Globalization of Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia In Transformation

MEDELLÍN, Colombia — This labyrinthine metropolis transformed over the course of the decade from a battlefield of drug lords, paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas into one of the safest, most dynamic cities in Latin America. Visionary inner-city renewal projects and a push to take back the lawless hillside slums by force deserve credit, but many here hail an unsung hero in Medellín's urban miracle — globalization.

Lina Marcela Zapata works in a Medellín factory that is part of Colombia's all-important textile sector

Exports surged in the 1990s as the United States granted temporary trade preferences to Colombia, allowing many of its products to enter the world's largest market duty-free. They really took off after 2002, when Washington expanded that agreement to include Colombia's all-important textile sector. New assembly lines making Ralph Lauren socks and Levi's jeans sprouted up across this picturesque Andean valley, creating tens of thousands of jobs and turning Medellín into a model of the curative power of liberalized trade. [Seattle Times]

Colombia's export revolution began with flowers. Many Medellín residents, including Luz Dari Garcia, 20, work in the flower business. Colombian flowers make up roughly 90 percent of all those sold in the United States.

SUPPORT COLOMBIAN EXPORTS: Shop for clothing apparel at TARGET. Also, why not buy flowers for that special someone in your life.

The Tranformation Of Medellin Video

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