Wednesday, 22 July 2009

US architects, designers seek Philippine partners

Manila Bulletin

American architectural and design firms are looking for strategic partnership with local developers and architects to complement its huge integrated property development in China in the Philippines.

Susan Barlin, Malacanang special envoy on tourism and CEO of BIG International, has put together about 30 world renown architects in the U.S. to undertake the huge property development in China.

According to Barlin, the first development they would undertake is a 400-hectare property in Hebei, China into a self-contained city. The project is in collaboration with the local government of Hebei province.

Barlin stressed the need to tap well-established and prestigious architectural firms in the US to lend credence to the local development into the international market.

“The concept can easily be copied if the developer has no relationship with renowned architects. If the project has the right partner then it can easily be positioned in the world map,” Barlin said.

“It’s not about how rich but the confidence, but the smooth processes that arise when you collaborate and forge strategic partnerships with the world class because that woutd pave the way for faster alliances. It is very difficult to start from the scratch,” she pointed out.

Barlin said there are ideal places in the country that can be developed into a world class self-contained city.

BIG International is also doing the same strategic alliances for property developments in Hungary, Samoa and various cities in Latin America, which are all promoting themselves as retirement havens.

“We are looking for a local developer that we can collaborate with to replicate our China project in the Philippines,” Barlin said.

Under the plan, the project would be promoted on a membership basis wherein investors in each development would be entitled to the amenities being offered in the other project and vice-versa.

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