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Preparing Latin America’s “most Innovative city” for MNE’ entry: the role of the local developmental ecosystem

List of Authors: Gómez Lucía, Oinas Päivi

Conference name: American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting

Publication year: 2017

The paradigm of innovation at a global scale is changing, with cities from developing countries increasingly playing a more prominent role. We know that advancements in the technological readiness of emerging countries are at the core of this paradigm shift, in which technology-driven investments in Information Communication Technologies have a preponderant role. These investments are taken to stimulate the renewal of industrial processes and to facilitate technological catching up in their host urban economies. Nevertheless, little is understood with respect to the micro-processes surrounding how conditions are locally created and how cities re-create their urban environments to attract technology-oriented firms and talent.

The theoretical approach takes views from the existing literature on knowledge-based urban development. We look at the preconditions and trajectories of local economic development, the changes occurring in the nature of local institutions, and the power of foreign firms to influence the foundations for new economic developments and urban projects.
Primary data was collected in Medellín, Colombia; semi-structured interviews were held with negotiation partners to foreign investors and/or related urban development process stakeholders. The main factors contributing to Medellín´s attractiveness to technology-driven FDIs were the existence of strong entrepreneurial culture, indigenous business groups, and a coalition of local institutions actively working to improve urban and social conditions. These factors, strategically combined, e.g. in the creation of ´innovation districts', opened further developmental possibilities for the city. The presence of foreign firms is raising the international prestige of the city, strengthening its knowledge infrastructure, and bringing new market channels.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:49