INTERVIEW: Era of Changes
March 3, 2014
MIPIM Director Filippo Rean talks to Marcin Kłosowski.
What is the difference between MIPIM now and 25 years ago?
When MIPIM was created, it was a very innovative idea to launch a trade fair based on the globalization of real estate investment. At that time, the property industry was still very local with few international investors. MIPIM certainly helped to accelerate the trend towards globalization in real estate investment, as it gathered together all key players in the industry from all over the world. It contributed to opening the market by welcoming new participants from new countries each year, giving them the opportunity to be recognized on international markets.
And to illustrate the fact that the global real estate market is growing, MIPIM launched MIPIM Asia in 2006, and October 2014 will mark the first MIPIM UK fair. The first property trade show in Britain will bring together over 3,000 decision makers from all sectors of real estate to build partnerships, showcase projects and give up-to-date insight on the British market via a large exhibition area, a conference program and a number of networking opportunities.
In 1991, the notion of sustainable development or green buildings was virtually unheard of, and international property was just at the beginning of becoming an asset class in its own right. Today, the concept is the norm rather than the exception when it comes to designing new buildings.
How is MIPIM marking its 25th anniversary?
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, MIPIM will look at the next 25 years of international real estate with a special program that will explore every aspect of the industry, while at the same time enhancing its networking events.
The 25th fair will also be rich in events including a collector’s magazine and a special event for professionals who attended the first MIPIM. A solidarity race organized by GDF SUEZ Act for Employment Foundation (FAPE) on March 12 will allow a hundred MIPIM delegates to run 6 km along the Croisette [coastal road in the French resort of Cannes] to support job creation projects. In partnership with Amundi and Emaar, a prestigious live concert by three soloists from the Radio France Philharmonic orchestra will take place on March 12 for 200 guests. Also the newly refurbished Majestic Beach Restaurant will reopen its doors for MIPIM to become a premium space dedicated to participants for their breakfasts, lunches and drinks.
Have Polish companies and cities increased their presence at MIPIM?
Last year, the number of Polish companies exhibiting at MIPIM increased by 10 percent, which reflects the dynamism of this market. All major Polish cities, such as Warsaw, Łódź, Cracow, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Katowice, are exhibiting at MIPIM, highlighting the leading role of these cities in supporting the property sector with ambitious long-term projects. New Polish exhibitors will also exhibit this year such as the Lubelskie Region and the city of Konin.
Ambitious Polish projects will be showcased this year such as the new section of the metro in Warsaw—the largest local government project in Poland; Poleczki Business Park, Warsaw’s newest, vast, multi-use development project; and the Praga Koneser Centre, a project involving the redevelopment of post-industrial factory buildings and the creation of new ones, integrating residential, trade, business and cultural functions.
What’s the main theme at MIPIM this year?
The key objective of MIPIM 2014 is to look at the prospects of the real estate industry in the coming years. The MIPIM conference program will examine the changing face of international property by drawing on the expertise of partners and influential political and economic bodies such as the Harvard Business School, the OECD and the European Commission, which will share their views with market professionals on the outlook for a rapidly-changing sector.
Innovation is also a key topic and MIPIM will continue to look at emerging trends. The MIPIM Innovation Pavilion, launched last year, will highlight the emergence of new stakeholders such as Cisco, Philips, BASF and Schneider Electric, who are experts in innovative solutions for the property sector. Also this year, the European Commission will exhibit at MIPIM and present its financing plans for supporting the development of smart cities.
How active do you expect real estate investors to be over next five to 10 years?
Although still on the mend, economic growth is recovering slowly, and real estate investments have even earned a reputation as a safe haven. Changes in the financing of buildings, end-user expectations, increasing urbanization, and the diversification strategies of investors are all opportunities that encourage me to be optimistic about the future. In this context, MIPIM will continue to accompany international real estate players at each step of real estate deals, from the first contact between two potential partners, to continuing business networking and discussions, to promoting a partnership or the launch of a new real estate project.