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Global economic experts and industry leaders converge at IRES Forum to discuss 2011 Asian economies and property markets

21 September 2010



INDIA PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the topic "2011 Economic Prospects and Emerging Indian Cities" were (from left) Ambassador-At-Large HE Ong Keng Yong; Dr Roberto Zagha, Country Director for India, The World Bank; Mr Goh Kok Huat, Deputy President, GIC Real Estate; and Prof Patricia Annez, Non-resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution


CHINA PANEL DISCUSSION: "Will China's Property Market Drive or Derail Its Economy in 2011?" was the discussion topic. Sitting on the panel were (from left) Prof Deng Yongheng, Director of IRES; Mr Jean-Christophe Steven, Regional Credit Officer, Eastern Hemisphere, Standard Chartered Private Bank; Prof Bernard Yeung, Dean of NUS Business School; Mr Robert Ciemniak, Global Head of Property Markets, Thomson Reuters; and Prof Joseph Gyourko, Director of the Wharton Real Estate Centre, the Wharton School

The NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies (IRES) organised an industry forum on 16 September 2010 which provided an excellent platform for eminent scholars, international experts and industry leaders from the World Bank, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), the Wharton Business School and Standard Chartered Bank, among others, to come together and consider issues surrounding the question "In 2011, Will Asian Property Markets Crash Economic Recovery?"

The Forum aimed to provide industry participants with a forward-looking perspective into the likely economic scenarios for 2011's Asian economies and property markets, given the uncertainties in the global environment. It touched on whether the regional economic recovery is sustainable, India's 2011 economic prospects and emerging cities, and if China's property market will drive or derail its economy in 2011.

Recently, IRES concluded a collaborative research effort with the Wharton School and Tsinghua University on China's property market, and the results were shared at this Forum with industry practitioners.

Opening the discussion was Mr Beat Lenherr, Global Chief Strategist of LGT Capital Management, whose analogies of mooncake prices and asset bubbles struck a chord with the largely business audience. Mr Lenherr raised caution on the unsustainability of property prices in Asia and made reference to Japan's economic situation in the 1990s.

Following this discussion were two separate dialogue sessions that focused on two fast-growing Asian economies, China and India, and their prospects in 2011.

The India panel discussion was chaired by Ambassador-At-Large at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ong Keng Yong, who is also Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. On this panel were Dr Roberto Zagha, Country Director of India, The World Bank; Mr Goh Kok Huat, Deputy President, GIC Real Estate; and Prof Patricia Annez, Non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution.

There was lively exchange of views between the panelists and the audience on the investment potential of Indian cities, similarities between the growth trajectories of India and China as well as the significant market differences between these two economic giants.

Director of IRES Prof Deng Yongheng chaired the China panel, which focused on China's property market and accompanying economic implications for 2011. Joining him on the panel were Prof Joseph Gyourko, Director, the Wharton Real Estate Centre; Mr Robert Ciemniak, Global Head of Property Markets, Thomson Reuters; Mr Jean-Christophe Steven, Regional Credit Officer, Eastern Hemisphere, Standard Chartered Private Bank; and Prof Bernard Yeung, Dean of the NUS Business School.

Prof Deng and Prof Bernard Yeung had earlier contributed an article to Forbes magazine, entitled "China's Stimulus May Be a Curse in Disguise." This dialogue session covered a wide variety of issues, ranging from economic fundamentals and systemic risk to housing affordability and investment prospects.

The IRES Forum was organised in collaboration with the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and strongly supported by the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore.

By the Institute of Real Estate Studies, NUS



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