When I think of Singapore, skyscrapers and images of technological modernity immediately come to mind. I would be remiss by neglecting to mention the image of The Jetsons – a once popular American cartoon – that also comes to mind for me when this hyper-developed nation is mentioned. The trip will formally begin in two days, when 40 Columbia Business School students and two faculty members from the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate depart for a study tour of Singapore and the Pearl River Delta region of China. The fortunate portion of our group that hasn’t endured an endless stream of final exams has already departed, visiting the beaches of the Far East before heading to Singapore.
Our first day will be filled with cultural visits: a visit to the Gardens by the Bay (pictured here), Chinatown and Little India. A riverboat tour and dinner at one of the most notable seafood restaurants will follow.
We’ll spend the next two days meeting with leaders in the real estate industry: multinational companies such as Blackstone Real Estate Partners, the largest real estate private equity company in the world, and Capitaland in addition to strong players in the regional market such as GIC. We’ll end our Singapore experience with an alumni reception at Spago.
Guangzhou, nicknamed the City of Flowers in southern China, is our first stop in the Pearl River Delta region. This area is considered the birthplace of the ancient maritime Silk Road, now used as a major trading and transportation hub. This major city is an important commercial center in China and a focus for real estate development and investment.
The group will also explore Shenzhen – another major commercial center in the Pearl River Delta. Meetings with Vanke, Jones Lang LaSalle, Swire Properties, Fosun and site visits of the Ping An Finance Center and the Qianhai project await.
The trip will end with a day to explore Hong Kong before returning to New York City. I can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead. I am, however, hoping to sleep for the duration of the 21-hour flight there!
Nicole Atoyan ’17