Also this year, the BREL Forum programme was divided into four content-specific sessions that explored the current issues of the macroeconomic development, changes in the real estate price levels, demographic and political aspects, market investments, global trends in the working environment, retail trade, and the impact of e-commerce on the use of traditional retail space. After each session, interactive panel discussions with expert participation were held, which allowed an in-depth discussion of each of the current topics, involving the audience and inviting all attendants to ask their questions and express their views through an online vote. The forecasts of the forum's lecturers suggest that the real estate market is becoming increasingly complex. Also, the classic real estate investment funds will adapt to changes in the market by changing their operating principles. After a long period of stagnation, the world economy is once again becoming stronger, and inflation rates in the euro area will still remain relatively low.
As Jekaterina Rojaka the leading economist of Luminor emphasised, wage growth in the Baltic Countries is more rapid than the real estate price rise, so people have begun investing in housing, thus contributing to the development of this market segment. Baiba Rubesa, Chairman of the Board of AS RB Rail, expressed her opinion that the upcoming railway line Rail Baltica project will also give impetus to the development of the real estate market, symbolically breaking the borders between the Baltic countries, Poland and the rest of Europe. Jan Jaap Boogaard, department director at Colliers International EMEA Workplace Solutions, emphasised that fostering effective entrepreneurship requires co-operation from colleagues, which can be achieved by working in a common working space. Consequently, the recently trend of working from home is now being replaced by office work again. Leading partner of Voodoo Associates, Francois Duchastel, closed the forum with a lesson that the impact of technology and e-commerce on retail has continued to grow rapidly, contributing to the development of new and unique marketing concepts.
"The BREL Forum organised by Colliers International revealed several factors that will affect the Latvian real estate market in the upcoming years. On the one hand, there is increasing competition between the Baltic cities, ideas, projects and even employers to achieve their goals. On the other hand, there is a need for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors as well as the representatives of different groups, because only by cooperating can they develop large projects at the required speed. There is a need for political and economic leaders who can think differently and ensure the implementation of new ideas in life. Lastly, looking at the dramatic demographic situation, the country needs to work smarter by introducing re-emigration plans, demographic measures and attracting foreign students. Targeting and further research of these topics are important not only in Latvia, but also in the whole Baltic region,” comments the moderator of the forum, the main advisor of RB Rail AS, Ģirts Rūda.
Among the speakers at the BREL forum were a number of real estate industry experts from all three Baltic counties, as well as from Poland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, including CERTUS board member Dr. Sc. pol., researcher, University of Latvia Associated Professor Daunis Auers, University of Latvia Econometrics Professor Mihails Hazans, Chief Executive Officer of Linstow and CEO of OSU Per Mortnesen, Founder and Managing Director of Projects Partners International John Banka, Head of Aecom in the Baltic states Arnis Kākulis, Leading Partner of Lumi Capital from Estonia Raiko Uri, CEO of the Lithuanian company East Capital Real Estate Madis Raidma, Managing Director of Capitalica Andrius Barštys, Sorainen Partner, Sworn Advocate and Head of Tax and Customs Practice Group in the Baltic and Belarus Jānis Taukačs, New Hanza Capital AS Managing Director Andris Kovaļčuks, Deputy Director of Pillar RE Services Guntars Cauna, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia Raimonds Aleksejenko and Chairman of the Board of the shopping centre Akropolis Saule Zabulionyte.
BREL forum was organised by Colliers International in partnership with iDEA HOUSE events. The main partners of the forum are ABLV Bank, Hanner, Linstow Center Management, Luminor and the National Alliance of Real Estate Developers (NNĪAA).