Vol. 2, No. 10 October 2019
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION
O N E -Y E A R - A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E !
Deal or No Deal: Brexit on the Horizon
Looking for opportunities to network and meet with other WTCA M
2019 Listed Companies to Build the B&R International Cooperation Forum and 2019 Chinese Enterprises Outbound Investment Conference November 11, 2019 • Beijing, China The “2019 Listed Companies to Build the B&R International Cooperation Forum” will be hosted in Beijing, China. Representatives from relevant ministries and commissions, domestic and foreign listed companies, financial institutions, business associations, and think tanks will gather together to discuss and exchange ideas regarding the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The forum will cover a full range of relevant topics, including: ■ Participation of listed companies in the development of the BRI ■ Multi-party participation in the investment and financing for the construction of the BRI ■ The BRI and capital markets ■ The BRI and commercial legal services ■ New opportunities for the listed companies under the BRI ■ Overseas industrial parks as important platforms for the listed companies to participate in the construction of the BRI
This year, to align with the WTCA’s celebration of “A Half Century of Global Connectivity,” the Association will co-host this event in partnership with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).
For more information or to register, please email Adele Zhang at AZhang@wtca.org.
Members? Here are two upcoming events you may be interested in:
The 2019 Latin American Regional Meeting November 14-15, 2019 • Pereira, Colombia This year’s program highlights include: ■ Future development of the region ■ Real estate market ■ Economy and commodities ■ Tourism as a development promoter
For any questions, please email Magdalena Torres at MTorres@wtca.org.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION
John E. Drew Chair, Board of Directors, WTCA
John E. Drew Chair, Board of Directors WTCA
Scott Ferguson Chief Executive Officer WTCA
EDITORIAL TEAM Alexander Brown
Director of Communications and Member Relations WTCA
Chanelle Kasik Communications Manager WTCA Karen Spencer Spencer Creative Group
WELCOME: WTCA Meridian Turns One
DEAL OR NO DEAL: BREXIT ON THE HORIZON MEMBER PERSPECTIVE: The Importance of Custom Trade Resources: How WTC Washington, D.C. Welcomes the World Andrew Gelfuso Director, WTC Washington, D.C.
MEMO: Event Recap: The 2019 China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CFIT) Scott Ferguson CEO, WTCA
World Trade Centers Association
World Trade Centers Association
Published by World Trade Centers Association The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 325 highly-connected, mutuallysupporting businesses and organizations in nearly 100 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center,” the tri-globe map design logo and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more visit www.wtca.org.
115 Broadway, Suite 1202, New York, NY 10006 USA
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WTCA congratulates all Members celebrating their anniversaries in October
SPOTLIGHT: 2020 WTCAF “Peace Through Trade” Competition AROUND THE NETWORK:
WTCA Members share their news from around the globe
TRENDS: Commercial Real Estate Trends in Europe
WTCA Meridian Turns One Dear Members,
John E. Drew Chair, Board of Directors World Trade Centers Association
Welcome to the October issue of WTCA Meridian and the one-year anniversary of this publication. Last year, we kicked off our premier edition with “Transatlantic Trade Relations: Ties That Bind,” and over the past year, we’ve touched on industry topics ranging from commercial real estate to technology, and issues facing the business world today, including how to navigate the current geopolitical climate. We hope you have enjoyed reading these issues and learning from leading industry experts and your fellow Members. A sincere appreciation to everyone who has taken the time to contribute as your individual stories give our Membership valuable learnings through your experience. This month our Feature article provides an overview of the upcoming Brexit deadline on October 31 and what effects this might have on both the UK and European Union, as well as global trade and investment. Our Trends article dives into macro trends affecting the current state of European commercial real estate, and our Member Perspective, penned by Andrew Gelfuso of WTC Washington, D.C., discusses the importance of localized trade resources. Our Spotlight article gives you a preview of upcoming programming from the World Trade Centers Association Foundation, and lastly, our “Around the Network” section features Member-submitted stories that show what’s happening on the ground around the globe. Thank you again for your continued Membership in our Association, your participation and readership of our monthly WTCA Meridian newsletter, and for making our network one-of-a-kind. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue and I hope to see as many of you at the upcoming Member Seminar, our signature learning and development event in New York City. It is sure to be another energizing event and opportunity for us as an Association to convene, and share new ideas and opportunities that will benefit our entire network. Sincerely,
John E. Drew
WTCA MERIDIANTM • OCTOBER 2019
Deal or No Deal: Brexit on the Horizon On June 23, 2016, citizens across the United Kingdom (UK) narrowly voted to leave the European Union (EU), the economic and political union involving 28 European countries that allows free trade, and movement of people to live and work in whichever country in the bloc they choose. The UK had been a member since 1973 and if it leaves as planned on October 31, 2019 (at time of publication), it would be the first member state to withdraw from the EU. Brexit — as the referendum has become commonly known as a portmanteau for “British exit” — has since been the hot topic of rigorous political debate and a prime source of economic uncertainty in Europe. With deadlines passed, deals deadlocked, and a revolving door of Prime Ministers and Parliament members seeking to bring the chaotic process to an end, the UK currently faces a crucial decision with the EU: to leave the union with — or without — a “deal.” No matter what comes to pass, one thing remains certain: Britain and the Eurozone will never be the same.
THREE LONG YEARS Following the 2016 EU referendum, in which 51.9 percent of voters decided for the UK to leave the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron
resigned and Teresa May took over, ushering in the formal Brexit process. May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which formally kicked off a two-year clock for the UK to officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019. But after a series of difficult negotiations, snap elections, and growing concerns over the Irish border, the two-year Brexit timeline clock became infeasible. As such, May was twice forced to ask EU leaders to extend the deadline for Britain’s “divorce,” moving the current date for departure to October 31, 2019.
Without a deal in place, the UK will leave the EU on October 31
Prior to the October 31 deadline, UK lawmakers must determine whether or not to negotiate what the country’s relationship with the EU will look like after leaving the union. This remains the biggest stumbling block in Parliament: agreeing on a deal with the EU, which would likely include set agreements over customs, trade, and immigration — or exiting without such a deal in place.
with no agreements about work and trade.
WHAT IF THERE’S A DEAL?
Irish border. Specifically, Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which would remain part of the EU, wish to avoid a hard border that would recall the tumultuous political struggles the
island encountered during “The Troubles” for three decades in the late 20th century (1968-1998). But without a deal in place, no resolution between the EU and UK means Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland may be forced to reckon with the return of a hard border.
Once a Brexit deal has been approved, a nonbinding political declaration will be in place to define the relationship between the EU and UK moving forward. The deal would cover rights of EU citizens in the UK as well as the rights of UK citizens in the EU, an agreement over the Irish border, and the amount of money the UK owes the EU for its divorce. Proposed Brexit deals, many of which have been rejected by Parliament, could also include wider agreements over issues such as free trade.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
WHAT IF THERE’S NO DEAL?
Johnson called for new elections in an attempt to get as many voters to decide to leave the EU with his version of Brexit (without a deal) or Parliament’s approach to continue with the negotiations process, but was ultimately rejected by Parliament.
Without a deal in place, the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with no agreements about work and trade. This could greatly impact the lives of those living in both the UK and EU, with the possibility of border checks being re-introduced, and transportation and trade coming to a standstill. In worst-case scenarios, the UK risks border delays, hikes of food and fuel prices, medicine shortages, and widespread political unrest.
In early September, lawmakers voted to block a no-deal Brexit plan to prevent current Prime Minister (at time of publication) Boris Johnson from pulling the country out of the EU without a plan in place. As a result, Johnson is now required to seek a three-month Brexit extension (until January 2020) unless he manages to get a Brexit deal through Parliament by October 19 or unless Parliament has voted to leave the EU without a deal beforehand.
Unsurprisingly, what happens next is anyone’s guess. Whether an agreement is reached or a no-deal Brexit is carried out, the repercussions of the “leave” vote will continue to reverberate for years to come.
Contingency exercises outlined by the British government highlights the major issues posed at the
WTCA MERIDIANTM • OCTOBER 2019
The Importance of Custom Trade Resources: How WTC Washington, D.C. Welcomes the World ANDREW GELFUSO
Director, WTC Washington, D.C.
One of the unique qualities of the WTCA is just how ingrained its Members are in their local business communities. Because of this grassroots orientation, WTCs are often the local go-to resource for trade and investment guidance. But when you are WTC Washington, D.C. the entire nation and the global community are in your backyard. WTCA Meridian’s editorial team asked WTC Washington, D.C. to highlight one of its recently published resources to draw attention to how all Members can take advantage of their fellow WTCs’ expertise. In today’s interconnected world, it is more important now than ever for businesses to have reliable resources to acquire data, intelligence, and forge key relationships that can advance their international enterprises. While policymakers and citizens often debate the pros and cons of trade, those of us in this field understand how nuanced and complex the global business environment can be, and what tools are needed in order to succeed. Understanding the culture and business community of a new market can be a daunting and costly venture. Each city is different, with its own particular qualities, but given the number of agencies, embassies, and other various organizations based here, the Washington, D.C. area — along with its neighboring states, Maryland and Virginia — has unique national resources needed to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade. While there is friendly competition amongst these three areas, the region as a whole has distinct attributes and remains a significant draw for business delegations and government officials from around the world. To simplify the world of trade, there are a host of government resources and nonprofit organizations (NGOs) available — one of which is the World Trade Center (WTC) Washington, D.C., situated in the heart of the nation’s capital. The international community that thrives in this area benefits greatly from having a WTC that provides business counseling and key contacts, and convenes
a global forum, similar A Guide to Washington’s International Trade Resources to the guidance WTCs in other cities around the world offer their members. This local expertise is incredibly important, and WTC Washington, D.C. is the connection between the diplomatic, policy, and business communities. 1
Based on the resources mentioned above, our office created the Capital Trade Guide for those looking to better understand the Washington, D.C. landscape and explore the national trade resources available. The guide features key stakeholders and partners who provide timely and critical information on a national scale, and offers beneficial insights into various industries. As a comprehensive directory to key federal agencies, multilateral development banks, trade associations, business councils, embassies, and digital resources, the guide helps businesses step beyond U.S. borders to expand into the international market.
WTCA MERIDIANTM • OCTOBER 2019
There are 19 federal agencies listed in the guide including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA-FAS); and 11 trade associations including the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Additionally, the guide features a listing of more than 150 diplomatic missions based and operating in Washington, D.C., along with five multilateral development banks, six business councils, and 11 digital resources. This guide is not just a tool for Washington, D.C. locals — we encourage our fellow WTCs to share this with their members and clients as a benefit of WTCA Membership and as a resource to navigate the complex world of global business. Click here to view and download the full Capital Trade Guide. For any questions, please contact Hosai Rashid at email@example.com.
MEMO: Event Recap: The 2019 China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) SCOTT FERGUSON
CEO, World Trade Centers Association
On September 8-11, the 2019 China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) was held in the beautiful city of Xiamen, China. To support CIFIT’s commitment to the promotion of global trade and investment, the WTCA participated in the event for the eighth consecutive year, along with World Trade Center (WTC) delegates and their business members from the Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. We were particularly pleased to do so again this year as the WTCA celebrates its 50th Anniversary, commemorating “A Half Century of Global Trade Connectivity.”
CCPIT Xiamen, and PROGER s.p.a. Notable speakers at the roundtable included Mr. Nenad Paunovic, Director, Team for IT and Entrepreneurship, Prime Minister Office of Serbia; Mr. Xiao Lihua, Vice President, Alibaba Group and President, AliCloud Intelligent New Retail Business Division; and Mr. Jiang Guowen, Vice Manager and CTO, Huawei Cloud Global Partner Department. Notable speakers at the matchmaking symposium included Mr. Yang Zhanpeng, President, Bank of China, Fujian Branch; Mr. Cai Qinghui, Deputy Mayor, Yong’an, Sanming City; and Mr. Chen Zhen, Chairman, CCPIT Fujian.
In partnership with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), WTC Xiamen, CCPIT Fujian and the CIFIT Organizing Committee, the WTCA exhibited its WTCA Access China/CIFIT program on September 6-9, which featured an exciting lineup of seminars and forums that introduced participants to opportunities throughout China, and beyond including: the “World Business Leader Roundtable,” which focused on artificial intelligence; the Fujian-Maritime Silk Road Economic and Trade Matchmaking Symposium; a WTCA-Member Roundtable; and multiple industrial tours and business-tobusiness (B2B) meetings that created and strengthened connections and interactions with the Chinese market. The program was a great success, attracting 33 attendees over the three days, including notable attendees such as the Beijing Trade in Services Association, CCPIT Fujian,
Since its inception, CIFIT has become a distinguished platform to connect investors, traders, service providers, and government agencies to China and the rest of the world, including the WTCA’s global network from nearly 100 countries. As APAC continues to flourish and takes its place as the largest region in our association with nearly 100 licensees in as many cities, including those in China and India, we are delighted to be a part of events such as CIFIT, and will continue to support this great meeting by organizing trade missions to attend and showcase our global network and brand.
On behalf of the WTCA, I would like to extend our thanks to all of the participants, our terrific partners in China, and the event organizers for making this year’s event a great success!
The WTCA extends their warmest congratulations to those World Trade Centers celebrating yet another milestone. October marks the month when you joined our association. The WTCA is stronger because you are a part of our community, and we wish you all a Happy Anniversary!
World Trade Center Vancouver World Trade Center Bogota World Trade Center Nantes Atlantique World Trade Center Genoa World Trade Center Macau World Trade Center Curacao World Trade Center Miami World Trade Center Tacoma World Trade Center SĂŁo Paulo World Trade Center Kansas City World Trade Center Orlando World Trade Center Pittsburgh World Trade Center Rostock World Trade Center Taichung World Trade Center St. Louis World Trade Center McAllen World Trade Center Frankfurt (Oder) World Trade Center Turku World Trade Center Montevideo World Trade Center Zurich World Trade Center Lausanne World Trade Center The Hague World Trade Center Bucharest World Trade Center Colombo World Trade Center San Diego World Trade Center Managua World Trade Center San Salvador World Trade Center Delhi-Gurgaon World Trade Center Penang World Trade Center Northern California (Sacramento) World Trade Center Hong Kong (AF) World Trade Center Okinawa
36 years 36 years 36 years 35 years 34 years 34 years 34 years 33 years 33 years 29 years 29 years 29 years 29 years 29 years 28 years 28 years 27 years 27 years 27 years 27 years 26 years 26 years 26 years 26 years 26 years 25 years 25 years 24 years 24 years 24 years 23 years 22 years
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2020 WTCAF “Peace Through Trade” Competition Remy Swaab of WTC Panama City, WTCA Board of Directors Vice Chair and Member of the Board for WTCAF speaks at a panel during the Enactus World Cup 2019 in Silicon Valley, CA.
Following on the heels of last year’s inaugural “Peace Through Trade” Competition, the World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF) is delighted to announce the launch of the second installment of its program. Introduced at last year’s Member Seminar, (see page 6 of the November 2018 issue of WTCA Meridian) the WTCAF partnered with Enactus — the world’s largest experiential learning platform — to recognize students in that organization’s “World Cup,” where international teams of students present their novel ideas to solve some of today’s greatest challenges. Because trade is such a critical piece of fostering prosperity and peace, WTCAF recognizes four Enactus teams with a “Junior Ambassadors of Trade” award for “exemplifying and promoting social innovation and sustainability through
collaboration, fair trade, and ethical business practices.” This year Remy Swaab of WTC Panama City, WTCA Board of Directors Vice Chair and Member of the Board for WTCAF, traveled to Silicon Valley, California, to present the teams that stood out from the rest. This year these awards were presented to the national teams of Brazil, France, Korea, and Mexico. Subsequently at this year’s Member Seminar, the WTCAF will launch its second, signature “Peace Through Trade” Competition, which asks WTC Members to contribute a participation fee and submit projects from teams consisting of their local students. Teams are asked to present an original project, product or other Continued on page 16
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World Trade Center Washington, D.C. World Trade Center Dulles Airport World Trade Center Damascus World Trade Center Algiers World Trade Center Almere World Trade Center Nansha World Trade Center Ramallah World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara World Trade Center Hong Kong International Airport World Trade Center Qatar World Trade Center Chelyabinsk World Trade Center Eindhoven World Trade Center Hyderabad World Trade Center Helsinki Airport World Trade Center Abu Dhabi World Trade Center Arkansas World Trade Center Pescara World Trade Center Barquisimeto World Trade Center Cali World Trade Center Pilsen World Trade Center Savannah World Trade Center Ciudad del Este World Trade Center Encarnaciรณn World Trade Center Fuzhou World Trade Center Lille-Arras World Trade Center Medellin World Trade Center San Francisco World Trade Center Navi Mumbai World Trade Center Amaravati World Trade Center Yongjia World Trade Center Linkรถping World Trade Center Jรถnkรถping World Trade Center Pune-Balewadi Baner World Trade Center Shenyang World Trade Center Nuevo Laredo
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AROUND THE NETWORK MEMBER POLL As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the World Trade Centers Association, we’d love to see what 50 years have looked like for Members. Do you have historical materials, photos or videos that you’d like to share? Tell us about it! We would love to get permission to use these as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary over the course of the next year. If you'd like to help, let us know here!
ASIA-PACIFIC CONFERENCE ON EMERGING EXPORTS FROM ODISHA World Trade Center Bhubaneswar A conference on Emerging Exports of Odisha, with special focus on Export Finance and documentation, was organized by World Trade Center Bhubaneswar... Full Story
WTC GOA ORGANIZES MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM-AFRICA World Trade Center Goa World Trade Center Goa organized a “Market Development Program-Africa” on August 28 at EDC House, Pajim. With an objective to help the exporters... Full Story
DEMYSTIFYING CLOUD SECURITY World Trade Center Kochi World Trade Center Kochi organized a talk on “Demystifying Cloud Security.” This program was done jointly with NASSCOM and IDFC Bank and was... Full Story
INTERACTIVE SESSION ON U.S. VISA APPLICATION World Trade Center Kochi An interactive session with senior officials from the U.S. Consulate General Chennai was held at World Trade Center Kochi. The program organized... Full Story
WTC MUMBAI EXPLORES B2B TIES WITH THE PHILIPPINES World Trade Center Mumbai A Business-to-Business (B2B) meeting with a trade delegation from the Philippines was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing... Full Story
PROPOSED FTA CAN ENHANCE INDIA’S AFRICAN PRESENCE World Trade Center Mumbai An interactive program on the “Ease of Doing Business in Mauritius” was organized by World Trade Center Mumbai and the All India Association of Industries... Full Story
WTC NAVI MUMBAI WORKSHOP ON “DIGITAL MARKETING” World Trade Center Navi Mumbai World Trade Center Navi Mumbai successfully organized a two-day Certificate Program on “Digital Marketing and Trends” on August 22 and 23. It was... Full Story
EUROPE MR. EFTEKHAR’S VISIT TO CHINA - CIFIT World Trade Center Cyprus Mr. Mehran Eftekhar, World Trade Center Cyprus Board member, visited China attending the CIFIT events. He attended functions hosted by the Mayor of... Full Story
BUSINESS MISSION WEB SUMMIT 2019 November 03 - 08, 2019 | Upcoming Event... World Trade Center Lisbon
The Mission Web Summit Lisbon 2019 is a business, technology and innovation meeting that will connect you with the Portuguese business... Register
A NEW ADDRESS FOR YOUR COMPANY World Trade Center Marseille Provence Are you looking for an address to locate your company? The World Trade Center Marseille Provence offers you the possibility to use one of... Full Story
ARE YOU ORGANIZING A BUSINESS EVENT IN MARSEILLE? World Trade Center Marseille Provence The World Trade Center Marseille Provence, offers you three event venues. Top-of-the-range services and tailor-made support by a team of professionals... Full Story
A CROSS CHANNEL INITIATIVE IN THE MIDST OF BREXIT World Trade Center Rennes Bretagne As recently published by The Guardian, “a five-page document spelling out the UK government’s ‘planning assumptions’ under Operation Yellowhammer... Full Story
SEMINAR INTERNATIONAL TAX SYSTEMS World Trade Center Trieste World Trade Center Trieste is organizing, together with Milan and Carinthian Orders of Chartered Accountants and Commercial Experts (OCCE)... Full Story
HANGZHOU INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONTEST World Trade Center Trieste From November 4 to 8, a new edition of the “Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition for Overseas Talents” will take... Full Story
LATIN AMERICA CREATING AWARENESS ABOUT ORGAN DONATION World Trade Center Asunción For the third year in a row, World Trade Center Asunción organized a collaborative campaign called “Seamos donantes” or “Let’s be donors” in English, designed to... Full Story
WTC ASUNCIÓN JOINS FIGHT FOR INCLUSION World Trade Center Asunción World Trade Center Asunción joins Fundación Saraki’s SUMMA network, a business motivation program which proposes the creation of a Paraguayan network of friends... Full Story
VISIT WTC MUMBAI World Trade Center Cali “The government of India should organize an India-GRULAC business conference in Colombia,” says Mr. Acevedo. “In an uncertain and challenging global trade... Full Story
NORTH AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN WTC-KANSAS CITY HOSTS USMCA ROUNDTABLE World Trade Center Kansas City On September 6, the World Trade Center – Kansas City (WTC-KC) held a roundtable discussion on the importance of the United States... Full Story
WORLD ROUTES WILL RETURN TO LAS VEGAS IN 2021 World Trade Center Las Vegas Las Vegas has been chosen as the host and destination for the 27th World Routes Development Forum in 2021. The world’s largest... Full Story
CES 2020 DELEGATION PROGRAM BENEFITS WTCS World Trade Center Las Vegas CES® 2020, the global stage for innovation, is produced and owned by the Consumer Technology Association™ (CTA), licensee for the... Full Story
GEORGIA PORTS DRAW $5B INVESTMENT, 12,000 JOBS World Trade Center Savannah SAVANNAH, Ga., USA Sept. 12, 2019 – The Georgia Ports Authority plans to double capacity at Garden City Terminal to 11 million twenty-foot... Full Story
FOREIGN TRADE ZONE 101: ASK THE EXPERTS November 06, 2019 | Upcoming Event
World Trade Center Savannah Businesses operating FTZs have become a thriving sector of the Continued on next page
WTCA MERIDIANTM • OCTOBER 2019
AROUND THE NETWORK Continued from previous page
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U.S. economy. The FTZ program is available to all U.S.-based companies and can be... Register
2020 WTCAF “Peace Through Trade” Competition
UTAH TRADE DELEGATION TRAVELS TO ASIA World Trade Center Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert is leading a trade mission to Japan later this week. Representatives from 22 of Utah’s leading companies and organizations... Full Story
2019 U.S.-UZBEKISTAN ANNUAL BUSINESS FORUM October 22, 2019 | Upcoming Event
World Trade Center Washington, D.C. The American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 2019 U.S.Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum at the Ronald Reagan Building and... Register
28TH ANNUAL ARAB-U.S. POLICYMAKERS CONFERENCE October 23 - 24, 2019 | Upcoming Event
World Trade Center Washington, D.C. The National Council on U.S.-Arab relations is hosting its 28th annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building and... Register
WTC WINNIPEG: CLUSTERBASED STRATEGY INITIATIVE World Trade Center Winnipeg World Trade Center Winnipeg is proud to share that the government of Canada has chosen the organization as its official partner for the development of a... Full Story
WTCAF 2019 “Peace Through Trade” competition winners Catherine Hallinan (left) and Jack O’Connor (right) of Moyo Nua present their project on stage to the WTCA community at the General Assembly in Querétaro, Mexico. innovative idea that “exemplifies and promotes social innovation and sustainability through collaboration, fair trade, and ethical international business practices.” The project also needs to address at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Two members from the winning team will secure the opportunity to travel all-expenses paid to be recognized in-person at the 2020 WTCA General Assembly in Taipei. In addition, the WTCAF works with the WTCA Headquarters office to help draw attention to these innovative projects, the students who created them, and their local WTC. Earlier this year, Moyo Nua — founded by college students Jack O’Connor, Catherine Hallinan, Seamus Hurley, and Aoife Hand — took home the prize with their project aimed at revolutionizing the agricultural practices of developing countries (see page 14 in the June 2019 issue of WTCA Meridian). Submitted through WTC Dublin, the student-led team was unanimously selected as the winner, traveled to Mexico for the 2019 WTCA General Assembly to be recognized, and was subsequently featured in Forbes.
Want more information? Visit the competition website to find out more about this year’s program, note key deadlines, and download all applicable materials. And to all of the WTCs and teams that submit to take home the 2020 prize, GOOD LUCK!
SHOWCASE YOUR SME MEMBER OR TENANT TO THE GLOBAL WTCA NETWORK! Starting with the 2019 November/December double issue of the WTCA Meridian, we will be launching a new section called “SME Showcase” to feature a local business member or small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) at one of our Member WTCs. SME Showcase will provide five interesting facts about the SME, with information ranging from their history and number of employees to their overall mission and most recent accomplishments.
Interested? Submit your recommendations today! Submit your recommendations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In your submission, please include the following: ■ Name of SME Member at your WTC ■ Brief description about the SME ■ When the SME was founded ■ How many employees work for the SME ■ The SME’s most recent accomplishment ■ Link to the SME’s website
Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Commercial Real Estate Trends
Confidence is key — especially when it comes to assessing investor sentiment towards commercial real estate markets. Despite speculation that markets are due for a course correction and concerns over political instability, European investors nevertheless continue to feel a sense of cautious optimism. As a tumultuous decade draws closer to an end, these investors continue to make prime investments in commercial real estate throughout the region while pursuing new opportunities brought forth by evolving lifestyle trends such as flexible office spaces. As we head into 2020, below are some of the strongest visible trends throughout the European commercial real estate market:
A SEARCH FOR STABLE, SECURE INVESTMENTS Most of Europe’s major markets have recovered from the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn, leaving a relatively well-balanced level of supply and demand for commercial properties. However, according to a recent PwC report, many investors are approaching the European real estate market as a means of capital preservation as Europe’s late-cycle market expresses concerns over high real estate values and asset scarcity. Opting for security over outsized profits, investments producing secure and stable returns are in
high demand to ward off the potential risks of another market downturn or unexpected geopolitical shock.
MIGRATION TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE AND NICHE PROPERTIES Prime offices situated in central business districts remain incredibly popular with investors, exhibiting alltime low vacancies and rising rents. Due to high levels of competition for prime assets, investors seeking higher returns are turning towards niche and emerging real estate sectors for high-growth opportunities. For example, new and evolving property types — such as co-working, co-living and retirement communities — are becoming more embedded in society through structural changes by which people live and work. As these alternatives become the new mainstream, investors are expected to continue flocking towards micro apartments, flexible offices, student housing, and even hotels in the pursuit of growth and high returns.
INTEREST RATES READY TO RISE While the overall market may seem due for an overcorrection after this decade of recovery and growth, real estate cycles are not necessarily fixed or suggesting a pending downturn. However, one notable risk for commercial real estate investors is
the likelihood of interest rates to rise by the end of 2020. A recent report from Savills Research anticipates the Bank of England and European Central Bank to raise base rates to nearly two percent and refinancing rates to one percent, which could give investors pause before making any major moves to avoid nervousness associated with high interest rates.
POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY The biggest question for commercial real estate investors is “what’s going to happen in the United Kingdom (UK)?” With no clear resolution to the ongoing Brexit saga in sight, investors are left holding their breath as to whether it will result in a deal with the European Union or a brash exit. Regardless of the outcome, an overall decline of UK real estate investment is predicted to occur. Analysis from PwC finds that some European investment managers noted that their institutional investors see the UK as being “fraught with risk.” In a period in which investors are seeking stability, the UK remains a gamble for investment opportunities and, as
WTCA MERIDIANTM • OCTOBER 2019
a result, businesses are relocating from Britain to other major cities in continental Europe. For example, major cities like Frankfurt and Paris are now absorbing what was much of London’s financial edge.
EUROPEAN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE IN 2020 AND BEYOND Commercial real estate investors have a clear rationale for cautious optimism. While the state of Brexit remains pending, the situation nevertheless creates new opportunities for businesses across continental Europe. Prime real estate in major city centers continues to hold steady and strong, and as investors may seek to depart from the UK and find new opportunities for growth, alternative and niche properties offer interesting and lucrative possibilities to fit their demands. However, with the potential for interest rates to rise and for global politics to become more uncertain, investors seeking opportunities are hedging their bets against insecurity and instability.
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