International business leaders to discuss investment in Detroit

Attendees to discuss strategies to attract global investors to Detroit-area real estate


DETROIT – Business leaders from around the world will gather Friday morning as the Detroit Chinese Business Association hosts its first-ever "Revitalization & Real Estate" event.

The breakfast forum, which will be held at DTE Energy headquarters, will feature Detroit's premier business community and its leaders, including keynote speakers Andy Gutman (president, Farbman Group) and David Farbman (principal, Farbman Group, and author, "The Hunt").

Organizers said the meeting of the minds event will highlight ways to foster the continued transformation of Detroit, and the region, through strengthened international relations between the Detroit real estate community and Chinese investors.

"This event is the perfect way to foster educational, informative discussions that will benefit anyone interested in the revitalization of Detroit," said Farbman. "Detroit has already begun to see resurgence on the national stage, but we'd like to extend the view and commit to relationships that will enable the Motor City to compete globally and offer incentives for international investment."

Currently, the National Association of Realtors lists Detroit's real estate market among the top five cities most asked about from Chinese investors.

Officials said although the Chinese government has the world's largest stockpile of foreign currency reserves, at approximately $3.44 trillion, encouraging investments in Detroit's real estate requires attractive incentives.

That in mind, the DCBA said it is doing its part to showcase an environment that is "exciting and profitable."

"Multi-billion dollar Chinese investments such as AMC Theatres, Smithfield Foods, and the multi-million dollar real estate purchases of the Free Press and David Stott buildings in Detroit are just the beginning of international economic diversification," said Milan Stevanovich, vice president of DCBA. "It's up to us to collaborate, best inform and promote the region globally to attract new developments and companies to locate here."

Friday's event is intended to bring attention to Chinese investment interests, as well as foster person-to-person discussion and trust building.

Following a continental breakfast and opening remarks, organizers said Gutman and Farbman will discuss the state of real estate in Detroit as well as ways to better market the region to global customers.

Mark King, manager of Economic Development at DTE Energy, will present the 2014 Detroit Revitalization and Economic Development Forecast. Organizers said the event will conclude with networking opportunities and an optional tech demo center tour.

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