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NEW YORK CITY-International diplomacy and information technology were two of the topics touched on by former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell during a Cushman and Wakefield forum titled, “From New York to the World.” Powell said he considers himself to be a New Yorker being a City College graduate and said it “touches his heart to see how the city is snapping back” after 9/11. While he emphasized the need for advanced security in this day and age, he stressed the importance of the country remaining an “open and welcoming society.”

Information technology was also of key importance to Powell. “It has got to be uppermost in our minds. This is the way it’s going to be. Time zones have no meaning anymore. It’s a fundamental change in ways of doing business.” He also noted how crucial it is for the industrialized world to help the developing world to advance by improving infrastructure, for example. “It’s not just handouts. Otherwise they will get left behind.”

Economic matters here were also in the forefront as C&W executives noted the changes in the 2005 market when compared with previous years. “The jobless recovery is over,” Joseph Harbert, chief operating officer, NY Metro Region, said. “Employment numbers are soaring up.” He said we’re not experience a bubble in the market and that “leasing fundamentals are staring to catch up. Capital markets are not abating.”

“Nobody could’ve predicted the dramatic recovery,” added Ken Krasnow, executive managing director. One area that he expects there to be considerable attention paid to is the retail market in Lower Manhattan, particularly with the large number of condo conversions coming online. “Downtown is on the retail radar screen. It’s the next frontier in retailing.”

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