Property hotshots head for HK

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2011, 12:00am


Leading figures and key voices in the property sector will come together under one roof at MIPIM Asia, regarded as the top exhibition and conference event for industry professionals in the region.

The annual event, which will be held from November 15 to 17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, provides the ideal forum for international investors, corporate end-users, hotel groups and retailers to make essential contacts and learn about all the latest market developments.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet a wide range of developers, property owners, government officials and representatives of local and regional authorities, all keen to exchange information and discuss everything of importance happening in the industry.

Last year, MIPIM Asia attracted more than 1,700 high-level participants from 40 countries, and early indications suggest that this year's attendance will be even higher.

Event organiser Reed MIDEM has put together a comprehensive programme of renowned speakers, enlightening conference sessions and exhibitions to showcase many of the most exciting development projects taking place across the region.

It all adds up to make this a must-attend event for property professionals in Asia.

'We expect an especially strong turnout for the conference and networking programme, which will include 38 separate sessions,' says Filippo Rean, MIPIM Asia director.

'Clearly defined themes will make it easy for professionals with the same business interests to get together and discuss market trends. This is particularly important in today's unprecedented period when market cycles can seem shorter and more volatile than ever before.'

Panels chaired by recognised experts will tackle the issues affecting the property market and, no doubt, point the way forward. Where appropriate, they will draw on case studies to highlight suitable strategies for growth and to give a relevant regional focus.

The major themes this year will include mainland property, urban development, retail in Asia and emerging opportunities in Southeast Asia.

More specific topics designed to illustrate and emphasise those themes will then look, for example, at the impact of an ageing population on the mainland's property market and post-earthquake reconstruction in Japan.

Other themes will explore such concerns as Asian-origin investment in United States and European property and the next steps for green, sustainable projects and urban regeneration.

'The world is also looking to Asia to help with global recovery,' Rean says. 'It is important to focus more attention on the prospects for emerging markets and to have a better understanding of how the industry can contribute to the flow of liquidity. The knowledge about real estate development to be found in Asia is pivotal to establishing a more stable environment for property investment.'

Since one of the event's key objectives is to help attendees find potential business partners and new opportunities, there will also be topic-based lunch tables. This configuration will make it possible to debate hot topics, share experiences and exchange views on best practices with a number of hand-picked professionals ready to exchange their different perspectives.

In addition, various Link-In sessions, tied to the five different session tracks, will give the chance to meet experts in more informal surroundings. And, with sufficient advance notice, power meetings can also be set up to encourage one-to-one connections. 'Participants will have an extensive schedule of networking and matchmaking events, with tailored formats and targeted sessions,' Rean says. 'This will help them make business connections and foster deals. Delegates can meet decision makers directly and that is a great advantage in terms of efficiency and timing.'

Referring back to last year's event, Rean says its success reflected the fact that recovery was under way in the Asia-Pacific region. He believes that next month's edition will show continuing confidence in the reliability of Asian property markets.

That is because, despite uncertainties elsewhere, Asia-based developers remain keen to get international investors involved in their projects. In parallel, Asian investors still want to diversify outside their domestic property markets in order to mitigate risk and, they hope, secure higher returns.

'Positioned at the crossroads, where the investment and property markets meet, MIPIM Asia provides international real estate professionals with the perfect platform,' Rean says.

'They can gain industry insights from the market's most prominent players, explore business opportunities and connect with new partners.'

John Lim, group CEO of ARA Asset Management in Singapore, is quick to endorse that view.

'This is one of the best venues for people in the profession to get together on an annual basis to share ideas, get updates on the market and, at the same time, do networking,' he says.

Kumar Tharmalingam, CEO of Malaysia Property Incorporated, has the dates marked in his diary.

'Participating in the event in Hong Kong allows us to showcase Malaysia as a top-notch real estate destination and a safe haven to park investor dollars,' he says.

'[Talking to] the region's leading institutional investors is affirmation that Malaysia's real estate assets and equities are commercially viable and highly sustainable.'