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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Tony Chua, Singapore

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors opens Singapore branch

Booming performance of Singaporean and Asian market sector prompted RICS to launch Asian office.

With Asian countries showing signs of economic recovery, the global real estate industry is focusing its attention on new investment opportunities in the region. According to analysts, the Asian property market is starting to pick up especially in developing Southeast Asian countries, where land is at a premium, offering investors great opportunities to participate in development projects, with the potential for high returns, according to a RICS report.

April prices indicate that 70 of China's large and medium-sized cities grew at their fastest pace in close to five years. In Singapore, property prices are rebounding as the global economic recovery continues.

"The current trends have ignited an interest in the property market in Singapore and Asia," Mr Max Crofts, Global President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said. Singapore is one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international links. The recent opening of Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands is seeing a corresponding boom in sectors such as travel and tourism, property development, construction and engineering, not only in Singapore but in the region as well, he notes.

Mr Crofts was speaking at the launch of the Singapore branch of the RICS held at Eden Hall, the official residence of the British High Commissioner H.E. Mr Paul Madden. RICS is the world's largest membership and standards organisation with over 140,000 members in 122 countries. The organisation represents, regulates and promotes the work of property professionals globally.

On the opening, H.E. Mr Madden said, "I am pleased to welcome the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors here to Singapore and congratulate them on the launch of their Singapore Chapter. As one of the world's largest membership and standards organisations representing property professionals globally, it is an excellent example of UK expertise touching all corners of the world. This Chapter demonstrates the strength of the relationship between Singapore and the UK."

The RICS Asia region supports a network of over 11,000 individual professionals and covers national associations and local groups located in a number of countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Hong Kong and Korea. Its objective is to help develop the property and construction markets in these countries by introducing professional standards, best practice and international experience.

RICS' presence in Singapore goes back to 1937 when a branch of the RICS was established for local and foreign surveyors working in Singapore in what was then known as the Malaya Branch.

Recognising Singapore's role as both a regional and increasingly global home for capital moving into internationally focused property markets, RICS Singapore Chairman Mr Iain Mackenzie said, "We're delighted that the RICS has returned to Singapore in an official capacity." The reestablishment of the RICS branch, he adds, serves as a base for local surveyors wishing to access international markets through RICS and provides a network for foreign property professionals working in Singapore.

Representing more than 600 members, the branch will continue to work closely with members of the Singapore Institute of Surveyors & Valuers (SISV) and the Institute of Surveyors in Malaysia (ISM) to create a platform for member services such as Continuing Professional Development and inter-related activities.

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