Ideal chance for delegates to map the future

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2009, 12:00am

MIPIM Asia, the world's property market in the Asia-Pacific region, will take place from November 18 to 20 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre for the fourth year.

Nadine Castagna, director of MIPIM, has also been a director of MIPIM Asia since July. Here she tells us about her experience and her approach to organising such a property event in the region.

What is special about MIPIM Asia? In which ways does it differ from other property investment events?

MIPIM Asia is the only event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the only property event that combines an exhibition area with a gold-standard conference programme, high-end networking events and a prestigious awards competition in this part of the world.

It will welcome more than 100 exhibiting companies and some 400 international investors and end-users who are interested in broadening their portfolio to countries and projects in the Asia-Pacific. In order to help these international investors find the right partners and identify the truly interesting and worthwhile projects, a broad range of events and conference sessions has been organised.

We encourage our clients to use MIPIM Asia as an international platform where they can not only present their latest projects but also share market data and insights with all delegates. As a matter of fact, the number of events and conferences organised by our clients is quite impressive.

RICS, for example, will unveil its latest global commercial property survey and also announce an Urban Renewal Strategy Report for Hong Kong. The Korean Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation, BCDA - the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (Philippines), the Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management and many more will also organise their conference sessions at MIPIM Asia. Shaanxi Province (China), EPAD - the local authority of business district La Defense (France), VinaCapital (Vietnam) and Seoul Digital Media City (Korea) will hold special networking lunches during the three days of MIPIM Asia.

What can you tell us about this year's MIPIM Asia Awards?

The MIPIM Asia Awards, taking place for the third time this year, are a successful and much awaited highlight of our property market.

This year, property developments from the Asia-Pacific region will be named Best Project in eight distinct categories: Business Centres, Residential Projects, Mixed-use Buildings, Hotels & Tourism Resorts, Shopping Centres, Green Buildings, Futura Projects, and this year for the first time, Best Chinese Projects.

Among the 24 finalists shortlisted by the international jury composed of 13 property professionals, MIPIM Asia participants have the opportunity to elect their favourite projects. For the first time this year, the votes are held online, in the month before the event.

The awards ceremony will take place on the first day of MIPIM Asia at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 18 from 5.45pm.

It will also play host to two further official recognitions: The College of Estate Management will attribute its annual prize to Li Shirong, professor of construction management at Chongqing University; and Aedas and the South China Morning Post 'Homes for Hope' programme will showcase the 10 finalist projects of their HSBC Greenville Design Awards.

What will be new at the 2009 edition of MIPIM Asia?

For the first time, this year we have decided to elect a Country of Honour and we have decided it to be the mainland, thus celebrating the extraordinary resources of this country that produces record GDP growth, even in times of economic turmoil.

With regard to that, our programme of conferences presents a keynote address held by an eminent mainland specialist: Professor Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute of China. And three property talks will focus on the mainland and will welcome high-end personalities in their field: 'Sustainable Development in China's Cities', 'Foreign Direct Investment in China' and the China city leaders forum. This forum will focus on major Chinese cities such as Wuhan, Dalian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Tianjin, Harbin and Nanjing and welcome their authority representatives.

Among the international personalities from both the political and the economic field we are expecting, there are: Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary of Development for the Hong Kong government; Professor Li Shirong, professor of construction management at Chongqing University; Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of Perth (Australia); and Leung Chun-ying, chairman at DTZ Asia.

Another innovation at this year's MIPIM Asia within our programme of conferences will be the wrap-up keynote address. For the first time, we will have a closing session that takes the market's pulse and reveals the impressions of MIPIM Asia participants on market evolutions, solutions to the crisis and how to be best positioned for the post-crisis economy. The keynote address will be given by Bret Wilkerson, chief executive of Property & Portfolio Research.

What are your forecasts for the Asia-Pacific region as a property investment destination?

To start with, it must be said that the international financial and economic crisis has affected the region and therefore our market. However, if MIPIM Asia is a smaller event in size this year than previously, it will be a premium event for those present. We are expecting some 1,500 participants from 30 countries, 100 exhibiting companies and some 400 investors, end-users and hotel group representatives.

Despite the troubled economic times, it looks like the region will be one of the first to get out of recession. China has already picked up on GDP growth in the second half of 2009, while Japan is showing signs of recovery.

If MIPIM Asia 2008 was a time for consolidation, MIPIM Asia 2009 seems likely to start mapping the future of the region's real estate industry.