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 WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- As economies throughout the world adjust to the formation of new markets and increased free trade opportunities, U.S. real estate practitioners are expanding their international operations, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
 The association has expanded its global outreach to include more than 1,200 brokers in a specialized International Section. Also, NAR has arranged reciprocity agreements with 17 foreign real estate associations, study tours of foreign markets and advanced education courses on international real estate issues.
 NAR President Robert H. Elrod commented on why it is an opportune time for international real estate brokers. "As progress continues on free trade agreements like NAFTA (the North Agreement Free Trade Agreement) and GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the provision of professional services, including real estate, will transcend national boundaries. For those interested in global property markets, we hope to open a door that leads to more awareness of international real estate opportunities," Elrod said.
 Currently, NAR's International Section is developing agreements to exchange domestic real estate information with professional real estate organizations in Denmark, Israel, Panama and the United Kingdom. Other agreements have been established with real estate groups in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden and Venezuela.
 Representatives from many of these nations will join more than 2,000 of the world's top industry leaders from 50 countries for the 1994 World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation (known by the French acronym FIABCI). The World Real Estate Congress will convene in Chicago from May 28-June 2.
 NAR also works with the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (HABITAT), the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), and has consulted with housing and urban development officials in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and India to explore solutions to their housing challenges.
 These joint efforts explore local, national and international housing problems, including free-market alternatives to state-sponsored economic practices.
 According to Gloria Berman, chairman of NAR's International Operations Committee, U.S. real estate professionals have been steadily increasing their business activities in foreign private property markets.
 "Mexico is a good example," said Berman, "of how our International Section members have worked to expand their businesses. We expect to take the same approach with other markets, providing a guiding light along the path of international real estate development."
 NAR International Section members gathered in Washington early last year with their Mexican and Canadian counterparts to analyze the implications of NAFTA on their real estate practices. Last October, a delegation of NAR's International Section members attended the Mexican Real Estate Association's annual convention, received a briefing by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, toured residential and commercial markets and studied Mexico's real estate system. The year's international activities were topped off last November, when over 500 international real estate practitioners representing approximately 35 countries attended NAR's Fourth Annual International Real Estate Symposium in Miami, which focused on the markets of the Americas and Caribbean.
 This March, a NAR International Section delegation will attend the "International Property Market" (known by its French acronym MIPIM) in Cannes, France, which last year hosted over 5,000 real estate professionals representing nearly 1,700 companies from 41 countries. Another NAR study tour will travel to Argentina's real estate markets this fall.
 Throughout 1994, the section will sponsor courses that will help participants achieve the designation of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). The CIPS curriculum focuses on ownership and transaction principals of international real estate, including specifics on real estate markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia/Pacific. Additionally, the second edition of the International Section's Membership and Networking Directory, featuring addresses, telephone and fax numbers, areas of expertise and language fluency is now available. For more information on the directory or the Section, call 202-383-1167.
 The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice of Real Estate," is the nation's largest trade association, representing nearly 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
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 /CONTACT: Scott Sherwood, 202-383-1016, or Iverson Moore, 202-383-1290, both of the National Association of Realtors/

CO: National Association of Realtors ST: District of Columbia IN: CST SU: RLE

IH-DC -- DC002 -- 1697 01/13/94 09:11 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1994

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