A pillar of CoreNet Global’s mission is to increase the profile of the corporate real estate (CRE) profession globally. As part of this endeavor, CoreNet Global has been conducting research on the evolution and development of the profession in emerging markets. Through research we aim to find out:
The research has so far looked at the following countries and regions:
Africa: exciting, confusing, exhilarating, intimidating. Africa is one of the largest continents in the world, and its current population of over 1.1 billion is the second largest, after that of Asia's. It's also a very diverse continent, made up of over 50 countries, all at various stages of development. From Northern Africa, which is many times not considered to be part of "Africa", to sub-Saharan Africa, which is how, for most, Africa is defined. (Note: For this report, as far as possible, we are looking at Africa as a whole, including North Africa.
Corporations that have put expansion plans on hold as Brazil battled a deep recession are once again looking to the future. Brazil is home to a powerful economic engine that has made it a key global market for multinational corporations (MNCs). The country’s annual GDP of nearly $1.8 trillion ranks as the largest economy in Central and South America and the ninth largest in the world. Although domestic and MNCs alike have been keenly focused on improving occupancy efficiency and cutting costs rather than moving forward with strategic growth initiatives, there are few segments already demonstrating solid net absorption throughout the country.
The economic boom and bust in the Brazilian economy over the past several years has created dramatic shifts in the supply and demand for corporate real estate (CRE) talent. At its peak in 2010, both multinationals (MNCs) and domestic firms battled to hire and retain key personnel amid stiff competition and shortages of top people. As the economy stalled, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with an increase in layoffs as companies reduced staffing to weather the tougher economic climate. With the current economy showing signs of recovery, the question is whether the CRE talent pool will be deep enough to satisfy returning demand for skilled professionals.
There is no question that green building and sustainability have emerged as a bigger priority in Brazil over the past decade. The country has made notable strides in advancing sustainable building practices across a myriad of property types from office buildings and manufacturing plants to shopping centers and government buildings. Yet Brazil is in the early stages of strengthening that green building movement, and the country also has significant environmental challenges to overcome.
A number of factors have landed Brazil in the global spotlight. Certainly, all eyes were on Brazil in 2014 when it hosted the World Cup. And the country is poised to take center stage again when it hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Beyond that, Brazil has garnered corporate attention over the past decade for its economic growth, abundant natural resources and a sizable consumer market with increasing spending power.
It is no secret that China is grappling with a serious air pollution crisis that not only poses a threat to public health, but also could very well be an impediment to China's economic growth. That focus on air pollution is now expanding to include both outdoor and indoor air quality within homes and businesses.
China has proved to have a powerful engine that has driven rapid infrastructure growth across the country over the past two decades in projects ranging from high-speed rail and airports to office towers and shopping malls. So, it is no surprise that China also is moving onto the high-tech super highway with ambitious plans to develop a fleet of "smart cities." Smart cities have been an increasingly popular topic in economic development and urban planning circles over the past decade. So, what exactly is a smart city? The concept of a smart city can take many forms and individual interpretations of what qualifi es as a smart city also vary. Oftentimes, smart cities also implement systems that allow them to gather data from devices and sensors embedded in its roadways, power grids, buildings and other assets to improve operations and manage cities more efficiently and strategically.
The corporate real estate (CRE) profession has been concentrating on a paradigm shift from that of "order taker" to strategic partner within organizations. The role of CRE is evolving in response to changes within the real estate industry, the workplace and the broader global economy. But the pace of that change varies widely within individual organizations and within different regions around the globe. China, which has undergone dramatic economic change in the past two decades, is now seeing that developing economy effect change across CRE structure of both multinationals (MNC) operating in China and Chinese national and international firms.
China is in the throes of transformative change as its industrial and manufacturing markets continue to mature. Those changes are having a sweeping effect on corporate location decisions, supply chain management and business strategy. In recent years, China has been working harder to distance itself from its early role as a low-cost producer of goods and position itself as an advanced manufacturer and hub for innovation, R&D and higher technology.
This report on up and coming Tier II cities in China is the first in a series of reports. There is no disputing China's Tier I cities. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as Hong Kong, clearly top the list of the country's core cities. But in a country that is home to 1.3 billion people and a sweeping urbanization movement, there are dozens of up-and-coming Tier II and even Tier III cities clamoring for attention among Chinese national and multinational firms. These cities are attracting attention for their growing economic engines in terms of business expansion, foreign direct investment and GDP growth. In fact, China accounted for half of the 50 cities worldwide forecast to see the biggest increase in GDP growth between 2013 and 2030.
Some credit China with leading the largest infrastructure build-out initiative in the world. In some cases, entire neighborhoods have seemed to materialize almost overnight. The country has clearly come a long way with the biggest expenditures having been devoted to improving roads, power, rail and the country's water supply. That development is shaping growth patterns throughout the country and influencing location decisions for both national and multinational firms. To date, the focus of much of that infrastructure investment has been on coastal cities. However, since the post-global financial crisis stimulus in 2009, inland areas are beginning to get a bigger share of that infrastructure investment.
Sustainable building practices are still in the early stages of development in China. But, sustainability and a greater focus on energy efficiency are becoming top priorities that both the Chinese government and private companies operating in China are addressing. The shift is being fueled largely by the seriousness of the air pollution problem in China. Embracing sustainability goes hand-in-hand with improving air quality, as well as producing essential changes in regards to reducing energy consumption and using resources more wisely.
It is hard to believe that with its population of more than 1.3 billion people, China could be grappling with a serious shortage of workers. Yet, that is exactly the challenge the country now faces. Rapid economic growth over the past decade has magnified an increasing imbalance in a key resource - labor.
Today, China represents the world's most significant emerging market. Increasing market and overall business sophistication put China on the path to maintain powerful global influence well into the future. When it comes to corporate real estate, multinational corporations have led the charge in China for years, first in the manufacturing sector and then expanding into the retail, hospitality and services sector in more recent years. National and state-owned enterprises are just beginning to register on the sophistication spectrum for real estate decision making. However, the extraordinary pace of change in China indicates that the future of corporate real estate in China will be led by national and state-owned enterprises.
The Indian government has put in place "Make in India," an initiative to encourage additional manufacturing by creating an environment conducive to its growth and development. The aim is to increase manufacturing's share of GDP from 16 percent (where it has remained stagnant for a few years) to 25 percent, and create an additional 100 million manufacturing jobs by 2022.
Smart cities are on the global radar. From Singapore to London to Barcelona, and now in India, smart cities are being seen as the way forward for an increasingly urbanized world. The government of India hopes that this will be the case for the world's largest democracy as well.
The real estate sector in India is an important one. From the booming residential sector, looking to contribute to the needs of a growing population, to the retail sector, catering to the demands of an increasingly wealthy middle class, there is a lot of activity surrounding the built environment in India. Similarly, with the economy improving, and India still on the radar for many multinational corporations (MNCs), the demand for office space has been growing as well. According to a recent report, in 2014 the demand for office space increased 11 percent over that of 2013. This thriving need for space has meant the real estate sector has become an important contributor to the economy.
Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru (Bangalore), are cities that every CRE professional in the world has heard of and is aware of. Mumbai is the financial capital of India, Bangalore the "silicon valley" of India, and Delhi, including New Delhi (the capital of India), has one of the largest urban populations in the world. There are however, many upcoming, smaller, Tier 2 and 3 cities that are increasingly gaining attention, and have the potential to draw investment from international as well as Indian companies.
This report on sustainability and the green building movement in India is a first in a series of reports: Sustainability, environmental concerns, climate change. These are issues that have been gaining attention in every part of the world, including India. With a large, growing population and a burgeoning economy, the demands that India makes on its natural resources continue to grow. There is an increasing awareness in the government, amongst the business sector, as well as regular citizens that the need of the hour is to balance this economic growth with sustainable practices. How are CRE executives rising to this challenge, and what mechanism are being used to reach "green" objectives.
In the real estate eco-system, the property developer plays an integral role, though this role varies from country to country and market to market. This is the case in the Indian real estate scenario as well. From the view of the End User/occupier, the developer is at many times the starting point for leasing or buying any property. While the traditional role of the developer in the Indian real estate market has been to build structures, this role has grown over time, keeping up with the changes and the evolution of the market itself. In the past, developers were many times promoter driven, traditional entities whose main aim was to develop and lease buildings. The goal used to be short term, with profit at the top of the list.
It is still a young profession, having only been introduced in the late 1990s and early 2000s after the influx of international multinational companies (MNC) into India. However, the profession has been evolving, and there are increased demands on the CRE function from the C-Suite, in national as well as international MNCs. With this increase in demands and expectations comes the need for an enhanced workforce and CRE specific talent. Yet, as with CRE in many places around the world, there is a severe lack of skilled talent in the Indian CRE sector. The two foremost concerns in India with regard to sourcing CRE talent are: first, finding good talent, and second, attracting and retaining personnel.
With a population of 1.2 billion, India is the second largest country in the world in terms of population. While the economy grew faster and stronger than most world economies during the global economic downturn, there has been a slowdown over the past year, with 2012-2013 being the year in which the economy grew at its slowest pace in a decade at five percent. High levels of inflation, slowdown in key Indian sectors, such as mining and manufacturing, as well as a sharp descent in the value of the rupee against the US Dollar (USD), have all been key factors in this slow growth. How do other factors, such as infrastructure, which is one of the major underpinnings of any economy, affect the country's growth? Specifically, is infrastructure keeping up with one of Asia's biggest economies, and how is any gap in supply and demand affecting the economy and, particularly, the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) profession?
The Indian commercial real estate market has so far been dominated by the IT/ITes and banking and financial services sectors. This is also borne out by the DTZ Occupier Perspective India Office Demand and Trends Survey 2011-2012. With the IT/ITes sector in large part relying on the global market, the downturn in the global economy had affected demand for office space in India. However, according to a recent study from Jones Lang LaSalle, absorption rates, as well as new completions, which started to climb again in 2011, are projected to continue the general trend over the next two years. While CRE is still much more prevalent in the MNC sector in India, Indian companies are beginning to embrace the concept, though still somewhat warily. Traditionally in India, CRE was the purview of the COO, CFO or under general administration. This is still the case in many Indian-owned companies. While the bigger Indian companies are beginning to look at the strategic value of CRE with more interest than before, there is still a long way to go before an unequivocal acceptance of CRE takes place. With the expansion of Indian companies across India and increasingly across the world, the need for paying special attention to real estate, portfolio optimization, sustainability, project and process management is going to grow.
Global corporations operating in Russia are managing a delicate balancing act that combines both long- and short-term strategies. Businesses are attracted to the long-term growth potential existing in the Russian market, and they are deploying strategies to capitalize on those market opportunities. Yet corporations also recognize the need to take steps in the short-term to safeguard their investment and manage the economic and political risks that exist in that country.
Climate change and its impact are being felt globally. As a result of this, like many other countries across the world, South Africa has seen an increase in interest surrounding green buildings and sustainability initiatives. Not only is going green now seen as being responsible and responsive, but more and more customers and stockholders are now taking a keen interest in how the actions of corporations might influence the environment around them. This has had the effect of putting pressure on organizations to be aware of what their environmental footprint is, and how they can reduce it.
South Africa is home to a multitude of races and tribes, and has earned itself the name of "Rainbow nation." The country has long been on the global business map, but the FIFA World Cup South Africa being held there in 2010 not only highlighted the country's attractiveness but also shone the limelight on the many opportunities that the country has to offer as a business destination.
Situated in Southeast Asia, Malaysia has been attracting increasing attention from the global economy due to its growing services and electronics manufacturing sectors. Well-endowed with natural resources, Malaysia used to be mainly an exporter of raw material and goods, such as rubber, in the 1970s. Today, Malaysia also is a major exporter of electronics, such as semiconductors, and has also been putting effort into bolstering its growing services sector.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a coalition of 10 diverse nations that include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic), Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Over the past decade, these ASEAN countries have experienced robust economic development and continued urbanization, with a surge in growth coming from emerging countries in particular. The region combined represents the seventh largest economy in the world with 2014 GDP output that topped USD $2.5 trillion. And despite a global slowdown, the average annual growth rate for the region for the next four years (2015-2019) is forecast to remain at a healthy 5.6 percent growth rate.
The term "Asian Tiger" has long been used to refer to the highly developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. These regions were the first newly industrialized countries in Asia and experienced very high growth rates and fast industrialization for 4 decades prior to the Asian Economic Crisis of the 1990s, astounding the world with their progress. Is Vietnam poised to become the next Asian Tiger?
Green building has gained a foothold in Malaysia and Vietnam, and there is plenty of room for growth ahead. It is encouraging that both countries have started down the path of increased awareness, education, and development that meets green standards. Yet there are some stark differences in how the two governments are approaching sustainability, as well as the pace that green building is evolving in their respective countries.
Director, Knowledge and Research
Phone: +1 (404) 589-3206
Sonali Tare is the Director of Knowledge and Research with CoreNet Global. In this capacity, she works on CoreNet Global’s initiative to raise the profile of the profession globally by leading the organization’s research efforts on emerging markets. Sonali also leads the research collaborations with CoreNet Global’s Strategic Gold Partners. She has a MS in International Affairs from Georgia Tech, a MA in Economics from the University of Mumbai, and a BA in Economics from St. Xaviers’ College, Mumbai, India.