The 4th International Congress of Steel Construction took place in Cartagena (Colombia), with Alacero (Latin American Steel Association) as one of the sponsors.

The event presented 33 international and Colombian speakers and an exhibition that brought together more than 50 companies. Over 500 participants included manufacturers, professionals, and a large number of university and technical students came from all over the country.

Colombia’s annual steel consumption per capita is well below the world average of 217kg/capita, and that of Latin America as a whole (100.7kg/cap). However, the Columbian government has been helping to promote the industry through scholarships and apprenticeships, and the industry itself is also optimistic that there will be accelerated consumption.

At the opening ceremony of the Congress, Juan Manuel Lesmes, Executive Director of Andi-Fedemetal and Alacero’s Regional Secretary, noted that construction accounts for 45% of steel use in Colombia and 12% of employment. He also announced that Fedemetal expects the steel value chain (including steel mills, metal fabrication plants and shipyards) to be considered as part of the government’s Productive Transformation Programme, for which they are working on the preparation of a business plan for the sector with the support of an international consultant. Fedemetal encourages joint ventures between foreign and Colombian companies in projects related to government procurement. In this sense, agreements with the USA and Canada are perceived as an opportunity for the development of Colombia.