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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Property may become focus for investors

(China Daily)

10:24, October 08, 2011

Pedestrians make their way through the Sanlitun Village retail complex in Beijing, which has attracted investment from Swire Pacific Ltd and JP Morgan Chase & Co. Cushman & Wakefield LLP says China's commercial property market is attractive to international investors. (China Daily / Agencies)

SHANGHAI - While the United States and certain European countries are experiencing difficult times, China's commercial property sector remains the apple of the eyes of international real estate service providers.

"China is critical to our strategy, and we are very focused on developing our businesses here. For us, the biggest investment in China is obviously to grow the business in terms of talent. We provide advisory services, so we hire entrepreneurial, creative people with experience in real estate," said Carlo Sant'Albano, chairman of the board with the global property service provider Cushman & Wakefield LLP, a privately held company, which is headquartered in New York.

According to Sant'Albano, the company's staff numbers in China have grown 22 percent annually over recent years, and the rate will probably reach 30 percent by the end of the year.

Despite focusing on locations such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Cushman & Wakefield will continue to explore value in the nation's second- and third-tier cities, he said.

Currently, Asia contributes approximately 8 or 9 percent to the company's global revenue, and China accounts for about 30 percent of the company's revenue in Asia, according to Sanjay Verma, CEO for the Asia-Pacific region.

Sant'Albano said China offers tremendous opportunities for foreign companies and investors, and also for Chinese companies and investors looking to diversify and grow overseas.

"Every company is looking into China in terms of future growth, because of the potential domestic consumption. There is no question that companies are looking to grow here. As domestic consumption grows, and the middle class grows, there is going to be a significant demand for real estate," said Sant'Albano.

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