Leading decision-makers met on October 15th in Riga to discuss the future direction of commercial real estate development at BREL forum organised by Colliers and Idea House, supported by Forum’s main partners - Capitalica Asset Management and Luminor bank.
Commercial real estate leaders discussed the development and investment attraction plans of Riga city by 2030.
“Last few years, Riga wasn’t even on investors’ map. By now, it’s ranking and has received some awards, the city is on their map. Our goal is to help achieve 1bn EUR in foreign direct investment in Latvia by 2023. We think that’s realistic, given that it was 763m EUR in 2020. I’m also excited about Rail Baltica though it will be a challenge to get the required funding, but I like challenges,” – said Martins Stakis, mayor of Riga, at BREL forum.
Some larger foreign investors affirmed at the forum that they now feel welcome in Riga and Riga has a very clear way of dealing with investors and clear vision how to reach its targets.
“In 2018-2019 the Baltics was a top region for GBS (Global Business Services) companies. Starting from 2020 and onwards the competition is fierce as a new competitor has joined the race - remote work.
Riga has the potential to hold 38’000 GBS jobs by 2030 (vs 15’500 today). The only reason it hasn’t yet - it was under the radar as Riga wasn’t promoting itself enough. A GBS center is not a call center any more, it employs highly advanced professionals with degrees in Maths, IT or business management,” – said Jan Kamoji-Czapinski, Associate Director for Location Strategy at Colliers EMEA.
Forum participants discussed how business has managed to adapt to the pandemic and came to a conclusion that strategic planning, ability to adapt to the changes quickly and find an opportunity even in crisis are the key factors to survive in the stormy times. Sustainability has become important topic in all segments of real estate as people want to work and live in environment friendly, cost and energy efficient buildings.
“A good ESG strategy can be synonymous with good business sense. Covid won’t annihilate the human race. Climate change is actually a threat to the existence of humanity, according to most scientific authorities. It’s not a question of if we reach zero carbon emissions, it’s when - and that ‘when’ is crucial,” – added Cormac Crossan, Global business development lead for Commercial real estate at Schneider Electric.
More information on the BREL forum program and speakers is available at www.brelforum.com.
Forum is organised by Colliers and iDEA HOUSE events.
Forum main partners – Capitalica and Luminor
Forum partners - Eastnine, Linstow Baltic, SIRIN Development, Schneider Electric.