Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

With 300 offices across the globe, including 50 in Europe, 20 in Asia and more than 30 in Latin America, NAI Global is living up to its name. But it still has work to do, according to Jean-Claude Goldenstein, managing director of global solutions. As companies look to enter new markets in all corners of the world, NAI Global plans to be right by their side and sees China, which has 90 cities with a population of a million people or more, as one place with definite opportunities.

GlobeSt.com: Obviously, there has been an increase in demand for extended global services lately, right?

Goldenstein: Either go global or go back to the drawing board. Today’s companies don’t need a lot of help to do deals in the US. It’s in the more exotic markets that constant delivery is required. Companies are growing and they’re trying to expand to new markets, cut costs or both.

GlobeSt.com: And how are they doing that?

Goldenstein: On the property-acquisition side, for example, we recently completed studies and transactions for companies like Dell in India, Disney in Hong Kong and we recently won a study for a hotel in Vietnam. On the other hand, you see dispositions in traditional markets. The acquisitions are in those markets like Eastern Europe, China and India and the dispositions are more in the US and Western Europe. Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to get 10% market share in a new country than to get an extra point of market share in the US.

GlobeSt.com: Where are the opportunities now?

Goldenstein: We expanded in Korea a few years ago through a partnership with a real estate spin-off from Samsung Life. This allows us to do research and marketing work for a 50-million-sf development near Seoul. And closer to us in Mexico in response to the competition coming from Asia, they have started the first free trade zone in the country. It’s the 1,300-acre Logistick Free Trade Zone located in the heart of the Nafta route. If you’re receiving material from Asia Pacific it might also be closer to use the Port of Manzanillo in Mexico than Long Beach [CA].

GlobeSt.com: So how is NAI Global addressing its global services expansion strategy?

Goldenstein: In some cases, we’re doing more work for European and Asian multinationals in the North American market. We are also getting into new services; sometimes on our own, sometimes with partners in local markets. We have also done some site-selection work. For example, we’ve helped Simon Tech figure out where to locate their operations and call centers in Canada. We’re also helping automotive equipment suppliers decide which industrial park to go to in Mexico. We see opportunities to expand this beyond North America–beyond Canada, Mexico and the US–and into Asia. And there are a lot of opportunities in India and China; there are more than 90 cities in China with a population of over a million so there is plenty to be done.

GlobeSt.com: What do you see as the up-and-coming markets?

Goldenstein: There really is no single or simple answer as to where they are. It really depends on who you are and where you’re coming from. Obviously China and India get the bulk of the interest, especially from American companies. Companies in the Ukraine are also interested in Eastern Europe because it’s closer and it provides a lower cost base for them. Vietnam is coming up, if you think of smaller countries. And Korea and the Gale Co., the New Jersey developer, are working on positioning New Songdo City as a hub for Northeast Asia. It will be a neutral place with unique quality of life in, basically, a new international city between China and Japan. The western part of Romania is hot. We also see Latin America and Brazil as big markets. People are also thinking China, China, China and clearly it is the place that’s the hottest for manufacturing right now, although it’s also starting to pick up on the service side with outsourcing. China’s GDP growth is around 8%, just above India’s, which is about 7.5%, and you have an emerging middle class and over $50 billion a year in foreign direct investment.

GlobeSt.com: Is it NAI’s strategy, then, to have a presence in these markets?

Goldenstein: As far as we’re concerned, we’re growing in all those places but we don’t want people to necessarily think they have to jump on the bandwagon. We’re doing some research on future hot spots with Deloitte & Touche in Eastern Europe. We are also working with Professor Peter Linneman of Wharton School of Business to develop indices for investors and service providers and manufacturers. The goal of the indices is to summarize the overall attractiveness of more than 40 countries from Argentina to Vietnam.

GlobeSt.com: When they consider new markets, what should companies be looking for?

Goldenstein: They should look at things like market attractiveness; costs of labor; costs of real estate; cost of utilities; and quality—which means productivity and infrastructure, both from a telecom and transportation standpoint; and business efficiency. Risk is becoming more important as a site selection factor. Not just terrorism threats, but also crime and corruption and economic instability. Ten or 15 years ago, people would look at cost of labor and decide the market and start operations; it’s not unusual now for companies to look at more than 50 criteria.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.