ICSC Romanian Committee sponsorship support grows (RO)

As foreign investment into Romanian retail real estate continues and official figures show that the Romanian economy also continues to grow, some of the top retail real estate companies in the country have confirmed their commitment to maintain the industry's growth momentum by announcing their sponsorship of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Romanian Committee.

Immoeast, Baneasa and RED have all committed to supporting the ICSC Romanian National Committee, set up in 2007 to provide the opportunity for ICSC members to meet and network in Romania. The committee organises the annual retail real estate conference, being held this year in Bucharest on 30 September, as well as other networking and information sharing and professional development events throughout the year, and provides information to retailers and investors considering expansion into the Romanian market.

Ermine Amies, Managing Director for ICSC in Europe, said: "This firmly establishes that the retail real estate industry is committed to work together in Romania and the industry's confidence in ICSC to support the Romanian Committee's effective not for profit platform for knowledge-building, debate and networking. It also shows the strong leadership of Baneasa, ImmoEast and RED – we are grateful to them".

Whilst the Romanian retail real estate industry continues to hold up relatively well despite the global economic downturn, international property consultants report that retailers are becoming more selective when seeking new space and rental pricing is moving in their direction.

Elke Schoepf, Retail Asset Manager at Immoeast GH, which holds one of the largest property portfolios in the CEE/SEE/CIS region, said: "The ICSC Romanian National Committee is a great platform for strengthening our business ties and building up new partnerships, as well as sharing our experience with others."

Ali Ergun Ergen at Baneasa said: "The retail industry needs support, especially now when we must all work together. The main players in the Romanian retail market will be defined through their future roles in the market development. ICSC gives us the opportunity to contribute to market development because the main objective of this organisation is to help us communicate better and to achieve solutions to help growth in our industry. I consider that is our duty to support an organization which assures an open climate to discussions and to initiatives. In September, Baneasa is looking forward to debate the issues of the Romanian market at the annual retail real estate conference held in Bucharest."

Andrew Hardy of RED said: "ICSC is highly respected across the world and RED believe that ICSC, having now established its presence in Romania, will be of substantial benefit to the development of the Romanian retail market, pulling on the vast experiences of ICSC members across the world.

"RED believes that the Romanian retail market will take advantage from this experience where retail mall development across the country will be able to incorporate the highest standards in retail mall design and management functions, to ensure customer satisfaction and solid investment returns.

"International retailers have been entering Romania in increasing numbers since EU accession in 2007 and RED believe the association with ICSC will further enhance international retailers' awareness of the exciting retail opportunity that Romania offers."

Source: Nicky Godding Communications

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