CCIM Feature

CCIM & AAREA Build Relationships

Trade mission to China opens up new opportunities.

Thirty-eight representatives of the CCIM Institute and the Asian American Real Estate Association recently traveled to China to meet with their local counterparts and exchange real estate ideas and practices. During the 12-day trade mission participants visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. “It was an extremely successful trip that afforded everyone the opportunity to network and cooperate with real estate practitioners and fellow CCIM professionals in those cities,” says Pius K. Leung, CCIM, CIPS, 2005 CCIM Institute president.

Many experts say China has the potential to transform the global marketplace. The liberalization of its economy along with its entrance into the World Trade Organization have created numerous new opportunities for investment, particularly in real estate. As the host of the 2008 Olympics, Beijing has sustained rapid development and investment. Real estate, especially premium quality residences in elite areas, will continue to increase dramatically.

While in Beijing, trade mission participants toured some of the top local residential projects and a business park, which provides headquarters and state-of-the-art support facilities for enterprises integrating business, research, testing, and industry. Trade mission participants gained first-hand knowledge of the industries and exchanged ideas with managers from those projects. Additionally, the group was able to get a taste of China’s unique history by climbing the Great Wall, touring the Forbidden City, and witnessing the national flag ceremony on Tiananmen Square.

The trade mission then made its way to Shanghai, a city that has transformed itself from the industrial age into a futuristic city with skyscrapers, major industrial zones, research centers, and a rapid-transit system. Shanghai’s successful bid for the 2010 World Expo will further enhance the city’s opportunities for development. CCIM members in Shanghai discussed important local commercial projects and investment opportunities with the group.

The next stop was the Suzhou Industrial Park, the largest cooperative project between China and Singapore. Located 80 kilometers from Shanghai, SIP now is composed of an information technology park, an international technology park, a life sciences park, a national software park, and a small-to-medium business enterprise park. With modern city feel and appearance, SIP soon will be a high-technology frontrunner with modern industries and a favorable living environment for its residents with quality schools.

After a short flight from Shanghai, the trade mission arrived in Shenzhen. This one-time fishing village is one of the Special Economic Zones of China that has provided competition for Hong Kong in handling China’s exports and soon is expected to replace Shanghai as the mainland’s largest port. It also is host to one of the world’s most popular golf clubs, Mission Hills. The group toured the facilities, which include 180 holes on 20 kilometers of land with 10 courses designed by golf pros such as Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus, as well as luxury residential housing, a five-star hotel, and several dining venues.

Crossing the border in Shenzhen, the CCIM/AAREA trade mission arrived in Hong Kong. A financial hub in Asia and a flourishing international center, Hong Kong has seen real estate become a mainstay of its economy. The trade mission had an incredible opportunity to visit with representatives of the Society of Hong Kong Real Estate Agents Ltd. and the Estate Agents Authority to discuss ways to sell real estate in Hong Kong. The group also visited the newly built International Finance Center. Most impressive was the Arch, a high-rise building consisting of connected towers that feature luxury apartments with amazing views of Hong Kong’s skyline.

In all, the trip was an enlightening and eye-opening experience. Cultivating Chinese partners and relationships, understanding China’s consumers and markets, and looking at new business models are crucial steps to success in this emerging market. Future CCIM trade missions like this one are already in the works for 2006 and are an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand insights into the global real estate markets as well as provide an unparalleled networking opportunity for institute members.

For more information about the CCIM Institute’s trade mission to China, contact Pius K. Leung, CCIM, at pkleung@ccim.net.

Lesley Burns

Lesley Burns is a member of the Gonzales Group. Contact her at Lesley@Gonzalesgroup.com.

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