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DENVER-Jeffrey H. Schwartz, president of international operations for locally based behemoth industrial REIT ProLogis, in an exclusive interview told GlobeSt.com that he sees a lot of potential in Europe and Asia in the coming year. Schwartz was recently in Denver for a board meeting, and spoke with GlobeSt.com before flying back the next day to his office in Japan.

“I don’t think we have reached our full potential in France or the United Kingdom, and additionally we have only started focusing on Germany in earnest for the last three years,” Schwartz told GlobeSt.com. “There’s strong growth potential in Germany. It is the largest economy in Europe.”

He also noted that ProLogis is moving forward in Spain, as well as in central Europe. “We’re growing in Warsaw, Prague and Budapest,” he said. “And we’re No. 1 in our field by a significant margin in Poland. Poland is going to be a large market for us. Its GDP is growing.”

Because ProLogis is such a global company, it is impacted by currency fluctuations. But the company hopes to benefit from either a strong or a weak US dollar.

“If a dollar weakens, it is good from an earnings standpoint, because we’re getting paid in euros, or yen or whatever,” he told GlobeSt.com. But he said a stronger yen or stronger euro is bad for companies that export, because it makes their goods more expensive.

However, he said that one of the things that ProLogis can provide companies is state-of-the-art distribution centers, which saves companies money by making their operations more efficient. Distribution of goods in Europe and Asia is far more inefficient than it is in the US, he noted.

China, with more than one billion people, is a country where ProLogis also is a growing presence. “China is going to be a long-term play for us,” Schwartz told GlobeSt.com.

Also, he said, Japan is an important country for ProLogis. By building new warehouses that save companies the equivalent of millions of dollars annually, ProLogis is helping that country come out of its 15-year slump.

When asked by GlobeSt.com, Schwartz said that the company has no plans at this time to expand into South America or the Middle East, even those regions have extremely inefficient distribution centers. “We don’t have any immediate plans today,” Schwartz said. “Our plate is pretty full with Europe and Asia. That will keep us busy and there’s still plenty of opportunities for us in those regions.”

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