Foreign Investment

From the Heartland to China

As the newly elected president of the Michigan Association of Realtors, Bill Milliken, CCIM, CIPS, president of Milliken Realty Co., in Ann Arbor, has set his sights on expanding Michigan’s international business and trade opportunities, which will have economic benefits for real estate professionals statewide, he says. Commercial Investment Real Estate asked Milliken to share the drivers behind his interest in expanding cross-border opportunities.

CIRE : What sparked your interest in exploring global real estate initiatives?

Milliken: I have had a continuing interest in international matters for years. My first job after graduating from Colorado College was in field development work for Youth for Understanding, an international, high school-level student exchange program for which I traveled to four continents. In the commercial real estate field, I earned the Certified International Property Specialist designation from the National Association of Realtors in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2004.

CIRE : What steps will you take as MAR president to create new international investment opportunities in Michigan?

Milliken: I am already working with a Michigan law firm to help increase Chinese investment in our state. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder led a trade mission to China last fall, and as a member of CCIM’s 2006 Trade Mission to China led by CCIM Past President Pius Leung, I know there is an emerging Chinese market. Michigan’s industrial heritage will continue to be a magnet for Asian investment as they reach out for new U.S. automotive investment and manufacturing opportunities. We are also mindful that only the Detroit River separates us from Canada, the U.S. largest international trading partner.

Read more about Milliken’s state and public policy initiatives in CIRE’s January/February 2013 CCIM Connections column.

Jennifer Norbut

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