China Next Stop as Cityscape Brand Marches Far East
Cityscape Asia which recently concluded in Singapore has now made way for Cityscape China, which takes place at the Shanghai International Exhibition Centre on 24-26 May 2007. Although Cityscape China follows the same successful format as Singapore, with comparable investor and exhibitor profiles, 6,000 square metres of exhibition space and an international conference featuring leading international industry experts, that is where the similarity ends.
The sheer size and pace of the Chinese economy is driving the property and investment markets at an unbelievable rate. As host, Shanghai is currently the focus of the world’s development industry and with its rapid expansion and rate of investment it is recognised as the commercial and financial heartbeat of China.
To accommodate another upsurge of population growth in the coming five years as the first single-child generation is about to enter reproductive age, China will need to build more than 750 new cities over the next 15 years.
Neil Hickman, Exhibition Director, Cityscape Asia & China, said, “China is currently experiencing over twenty per cent real estate growth per annum. There are 2,520 projects either at the planning stage or in progress including, waterfront developments, industrial free zones, ‘techno’ cities and tourism projects on a monumental scale unique anywhere in the world.“
Cityscape China will follow on from the hugely successful Cityscape Asia that was held in Singapore last week and enjoyed the official support of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. The event attracted over 100 exhibitors from 35 different countries including a large Middle East contingent that represented almost 30 per cent of the 8,000 square metres of exhibition space.
The industry showpiece welcomed more than 4,500 participants from across the region and beyond. Representing prominent investors, developers, industry experts in the fields of urban and environmental planning as well as architecture and design, the event underscored the strength of the regional property market.
“Considering that Cityscape Asia is a launch event, it has been an overwhelming success and emphasises the massive potential the region’s real estate market has to offer and Cityscape is clearly the brand of choice,” added Hickman.
Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, Singapore, officially inaugurated Cityscape Asia and during the opening ceremony, Mr. Mah welcomed foreign participants at the Cityscape Asia conference, and addressed them on current real estate investment and development climate in Singapore and the wider region.
Mr. Mah stated, “Singapore real estate had attracted foreign investment worth US$ 3.56 billion in 2006, a five-fold increase on the US$ 600 million recorded in 2004. Sustainable and robust economic growth is underpinning the regional property markets and confirmed that both local and foreign developers had been buying up development sites in Singapore sold under the government’s sale of site programme.”
“The show was a success for us and has generated a great deal of awareness for us in a foreign market. We are close to signing a number of joint venture agreements and we are exploring the possibility of working with the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, to learn more about urban planning and development,” said Masood Al-Awar, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, for Abu Dhabi-based Sorouh Group.
However it could be Singapore's role of regional financial hub that may drive foreign investors to the S.E. Asian property markets. Strategically positioned Singapore has 15 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) currently available on its Stock Exchange, which is second only to Japan in Asia. These diversified portfolios combined with a pro-investor tax environment, could propel Singapore into the foremost regional hub for REIT listings.
Running in parallel to the three-day exhibition was the Cityscape Conference, which addressed many of the current industry issues. Over 35 acclaimed speakers made key contributions, during more than 20 presentations and project showcases. The keynote presentation was delivered by Cheong Koon Hean, CEO of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority who highlighted the government’s vision for Singapore’s real estate market. Two further dedicated events World Architectural Conference and Retail City Conference, highlighted regional investment opportunities, iconic architecture and development best practice to an international audience.
Syed Furqan Hanif, Director – Administration of the Fortune Group, Dubai, who are developing what will be the tallest commercial tower in the world, Burj Al Alam, said, “We were honoured that Mr. Mah opened Cityscape Asia and even found the time to visit our stand. His attendance further emphasises the calibre and potential of this event.”