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Look abroad for opportunity.


As the New York and national economies continue to be sluggish and new construction is almost nonexistent, development, construction and design firms must look to the east, west, north and south.of U.S. borders for business opportunities. Companies that are content to look for growth domestically will find their options limited and their growth stunted.


In the Far East, Taiwan is initiating a $190billion, six-year capital investment plan, building a state-of-the art infrastructure for its people. This obviously presents an enormous opportunity to American firms as this small island nation will need the help of foreign firms to complete this massive undertaking.

Recently, the New York Building Congress welcomed a delegation from Taiwan, comprised of individuals who will oversee this massive capital program and execute its various components. For three days, New York firms met with Taiwanese public officials and executives, developing relationships and discussing opportunities available to American firms. And as we all know, if you want to do business with someone you have to meet them first.

Easteton Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States

With the fall of Communism and the resulting pent up demand for consumer products and services, there has been an unquenchable thirst in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States for capital investment. And while many firms have avoided entry into these nascent markets, there are hundreds of firms that have taken the plunge, establishing retail outlets, law firm offices and manufacturing facilities.

To take advantage of these opportunities, Shea & Gould has developed the Eastern European Building & Development Consortium (EEBDC), comprised of developers, architects, engineers, attorneys and bartering firms. The consortium provides comprensive project packages, offering a potential Eastern the world.

Companies from each of the signatory countries will be looking to establish beachheads or expand current operations across their domestic borders. This will increase the demand for the construction of manufacturing

European client all the necessary services and skills to complete a job, from the initial design phase to final construction. Currently, the EEBDC is building a polyclinic in Russia which utilizes a developer, architects, engineers and a bartering firm all from the United States.

Mexico and Canada

Equally as promising are the opportunities in Mexico and Canada that will be created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Once enacted, NAFTA will create the largest consumer market in facilities, office complexes and infrastructure projects predominantly in Canada and Mexico, but also in the United States on a limited, regional basis.

Western Europe/European Community

The European Community (EC) also presents opportunities as American firms and 'European firms took to establish operations in member states, anticipating market unification. While delays and disagreements have left the scope of European unification in question, most experts agree that trade barriers will eventually all but disappear among the 13 EC member states.

There are numerous other pockets of opportunity for the American real estate industry to capitalize on throughout the world. And with the lagging domestic demand for new construction, it is clear that the greatest growth for U.S. construction, development and design firms will come from abroad. As American manufacturers and service firms have responded to global competition and invaded foreign markets, so must the American real estate industry expand its reach beyond its own front door.

James Frankel is a partner with Shea & Gould's construction industry practice group and heads up the firm's Eastern European Development Consortium (EEBDC) initiative. Shea & Gould is a national law firm with 2210 attorneys and offices in New York, Washington, D. C, Miami, Los Angeles and Albany.
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Title Annotation:construction industry looks toward off-shore market for building development projects
Author:Frankel, James P.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
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