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DALLAS-In a recent reading of the pulse of corporate America, globalization is foremost on all executives’ minds. But before reaching out, there clearly are risks to assess aside from terrorism.

Nearly half of 50 top executives from leading institutional investment groups and Fortune 1000 corporations that were surveyed report their international activity has increased in the past year to 18 months. And, 65% of the increased activity has been in Asia, says Karen Ellzey, managing director of strategic services for Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co.

The “reading” came from the closed-door, invitation-only Trammell Crow Institute, which was recently held at the Four Seasons Resort in Dallas. The institute, marking its 17th year, is an opportunity for decisionmakers to bore down into trends and issues impacting their businesses.

“Just as globalization grows so does global risk,” says Paul Laudicina, vice president and managing director of Chicago-based AT Kearney Inc. The CEOs of the world and their employees have long dealt with traditional risks like a nation’s volatility, different laws and cultures, but “emerging” issues have created an entirely new set of considerations due to terrorism, theft of intellectual property and security threats to workers and assets.

The two-day forum touched on aspects like global hiring, changing skill sets for employees, accountability and competing in a networked world where countries play by different rules. “There is a growing need to be able to navigate all those complexities,” Ellzey tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s not enough to just say ‘we’re going global.’”

Ellzey cites Europe as a classic example, reiterating a presentation by John Partridge, CEO of CordeaSavills. “Europe is really many markets,” Ellzey says, “and there’s a tendency to generalize. There is a need to cultivate international skill sets in people, organizations and behavior.”

As would be expected, China and India rank high on corporate America and investors’ itineraries. Leanne Lachman, president of Lachman Associates LLC, a real estate consulting firm, and executive-in-residence at Columbia University’s graduate business school in New York City, says China and India, with GDPs of 9.3% and 8.6% respectively, are good bets for investors, with warehouse, retail, hotel and office offering the best short-term prospects.

Technology admittedly puts the world at every corporation’s doorstep, but it’s not a replacement for real estate. “Technology doesn’t take real estate out of the equation,” Ellzey stresses. “The challenge is to figure out your labor strategy, where you have the most concentration in any one region and be flexible. Technology might change the way you think about space, but it doesn’t necessarily do away with it by any means.”

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