• MIPIM Asia delegates optimistic about the coming decade

    11 January 2016

    (Hong Kong, 2015) – Close to 900 leading real estate and property executives from more than 30 countries gathered in Hong Kong for the 10th edition of MIPIM Asia, the property leaders’ summit in Asia Pacific. MIPIM Asia delegates expressed optimism towards the Asia Pacific market and the rise of an emerging middle class across the region.

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    The integration of the ASEAN countries will create a regional economic bloc with significant investment opportunities. Both investors and developers agreed that whilst the Chinese economy may be slowing down, the growth picture is still far more compelling than most parts of the world, especially as China is gearing towards a more domestic consumption-oriented economy.

    The central theme for this year’s edition was “Vision 2025”. Industry leaders who attended the summit engaged in high-level discussions about the challenges and opportunities for the coming decade, as well as how the low interest rate environment and subsequent hunt for yield is driving investors from the bond market to the property sector.

    Benjamin Butler, CEO and Futurist at the Emerging Future Institute presented his view on the future of the global economy by saying that, “Humanity is at a critical inflection point. Technology is shifting so much it’s like living at a time of “20 Guttenberg moments.” There will be greater “Earth” consciousness and biomimicry will drive new advances including the real estate sector, which is ripe for disruption. However, over the short term we are facing a number of challenges, ranging from a looming recession given the state of the global economy to social unrest and terrorism.”

    The “Meet the Chairmen” keynote session which included Dr Aron Harilela, Chairman of Harilela Group, Dr. Justin Chiu, Executive Director of Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited, Kenneth Gaw, President & Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners, Nicholas Loup, CEO of Dymon Asia, Dr. Wilfred Wong Yin Wai, President of Sands China, Suchad Chiaranussati, Chairman of SC Capital and Andrew Weir, Global Chair, Real Estate and Construction of KPMG concluded by stating that regulatory changes are likely to emerge on the horizon and that the property sector remains an industry where only the ones with a long term view will prevail.

    Dr Allan Zeman, Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, who delivered a keynote speech on the topic “The evolution and prospective of entertainment and lifestyle in Hong Kong and China: 10 years back-10 years ahead,” painted a vivid picture of how he sees entertainment evolving in the coming decade. He predicted that developers and mall operators alike need to reflect on how the space can be more lifestyle-oriented as there is a need to move away from the traditional retail mix – from having been 70% retail and 30% F&B to being the reverse ratio, mainly driven by the digital era and online shopping.

    Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lung Properties Limited, expressed optimism about the Chinese market by stating that even though there is a significant number of shopping malls operating across the country, there are very few that could actually be considered to be of high quality, during his address on “Why Shopping Centres will always exist”. He continued by stating that a key feature of the business model is to maintain a good relationship with tenants and not be reliant on so-called anchor tenants, and that he remains undeterred by a potential slowdown in China where Hang Lung, if anything, would expand in the coming years.

    The MIPIM Startup Competition, the first global real estate & urban management startup competition, saw Mr Jason Wong of Parallax (China) and Mr Rajeev Ranade of Source Central (Singapore) emerging as the finalists during the second round in Hong Kong. Both Parallax and Source Central will be at the final round of the competition at MIPIM in Cannes, France, on March 16th of next year. Ms Joelle Woo, Director, Developer Experience, at Microsoft Hong Kong Limited and a jury member of the second competition round commented by saying “It was very interesting to hear about these innovative ideas and I definitely believe that we will see technology and digital solutions being incorporated to a larger extent in the property sector going forward.”

    Speaking about MIPIM Asia 2015, Julien Sausset, Director of MIPIM Asia said: “We are very pleased to have brought together Asia Pacific’s leading real estate executives and investment professionals for the 10th edition of MIPIM Asia. I think we all agree that this part of the world is largely where we will see the main investment flows heading, across the different sectors. Logistics is clearly an area of interest for both institutional investors and developers who have previously looked at conventional property assets within the retail and office space and we believe that this will continue for a foreseeable period. We were also excited to see the companies in the MIPIM Startup Competition delivering their pitches to the professional jury during the second round in Hong Kong. Technology will definitely be a major game changer for the industry in the coming decade.”

    For further information on MIPIM Asia, please visit: www.mipim-asia.com.

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