The present-day economy of Medellín is one of the largest in Colombia and is led by a powerful group of people from the private sector known as the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño. Medellín contributes 8% of the national GDP of Colombia.
With the GDP of Valle del Cauca State, the total is 11%. Medellín is the second economic region in Colombia.
In the past decade, Medellín has become a destination for national and international tourism. The city has the infrastructure to supply the demands of a tourist industry at any level. In health services, Medellín is a leader in plastic surgery, organ transplants, and health treatments related to cancer, neurosciences, immunology, and Circulatory system pathology.
Medellín is also home to over 30 universities that serve mainly the Antioquia State, the “Eje Cafetero” (Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis) region and the Caribbean Coast. During the last decade, the administration of the city has emphasized public education, building schools and libraries in poor quarters.
Private schools and colleges have a long tradition in the city, many run by the Catholic Church, private organizations, and foreign institutions. There are signs of heavy urban development within the city of Medellín, particularly with the construction of new skyscrapers.
Medellín is currently outpacing all other major Colombian cities, including Bogotá, the nation’s capital and economic center, in the construction and proposed development of new high-rises. As of September 2008, there were 127 high-rises under construction in Medellín, including 25 being approved, and 17 being proposed.