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Manilazes: coffee, education and #1 in Colombia for ease of doing business

16:00 — 17:00
NZTE/MFAT Offices, Level 6, 139 Quay Street, Auckland

The Council was pleased to host the Mayor of Manizales, José Octavio Cardona León, for a roundtable discussion with members and guests on the 27th of May. The Mayor was visiting New Zealand as a recipient of the Municipality Award in Colombian President Duque’s Public Service Excellence Awards in December 2018 for a community conflict prevention/early intervention initiative using an inexpensive technology/information system by the Municipality of Manizales, in Colombia’s coffee producing department Caldas.

A municipality of around 400,000, Manizales is an important educational centre in Colombia and a well known producer of quality coffee production, and increasingly horticultural production. Manizales is rated as the top city in Colombia for ease of doing business, creating new opportunities for trade and investment with New Zealand, and it is increasingly important to Colombia’s domestic and international tourism. It also produces a nationally famous aged rum!

With many of New Zealand’s top educational institutions represented around the table, there were a number of useful connections and discussions which focused on strengthening the educational links between New Zealand and Manizales. Manizales has more universities per capita than any other city in Colombia with a student population of some 30,000 that attend seven colleges and universities, reflecting the quality of the local education system, safety and security, as well as the quality of life and low living costs Manizales can offer.

The Council wishes Mayor Cardona all the best for the remainder of his visit to New Zealand.

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