MIPIM 2022 in Cannes – Review by CEO Dr. Leonard Meyer zu Brickwedde
Dear friends, dear colleagues, dear investors,
Please allow me to share some impressions I recently gathered at the MIPIM 2022 from March 15 to 18 in Cannes. This European landmark exhibition took place for the first time in three years. With the easing of pandemic restrictions, business was back to almost normal with 20,000 visitors, only a quarter less than in 2019. In October, its Munich-based friendly competitor Expo Real had come back to life successfully with 19,000 guests.
Japan was visibly present in Cannes. We saw the revival of the Japanese German Real Estate Investment Roundtable Meeting, a biannual event at the start of MIPIM and Expo Real since 2015. Japanese investors, developers, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) decided to join via a video link due to the national arduous quarantine rules.
After a kick-off presentation by Mr. Andreas Schulten of German research champion bulwiengesa AG, the roundtable participants discussed the potential impact of both COVID-19 and the Russian war against Ukraine on global investment diversification. In 2020 and 2021, cross-border transaction volumes had continued to increase, but there were notable winners (logistic and residential) and obvious losers (hospitality and retail).
A Japanese presentation on smart city developments during the ‘Focus on Asia’ conference (with me as MC) on the first MIPIM day attracted a large audience. Mr. Shinichi Goto, Director, General Affairs Division, City Bureau, MLIT, presented a spatial planning technology for future cities to increase energy efficiency and quality of life. Mr. Kazuya Sawamoto, CEO of Daiwa House Europe, showcased Japan’s first net-zero energy community Harumidai with 65 single homes on 17 hectares built in Osaka.
Many MIPIM visitors, including myself, were very positively surprised that the “Japan Lounge” in the exhibition area did not promote the national real estate market. Instead, six very informative presentations reflected the experiences and findings of the pandemic and drew lessons from it. This Japanese approach to not just leave the pandemic behind but to prepare for future virus threats was refreshing and thought-provoking to almost everyone.
The lounge presentations covered relevant findings of the “COVID-19 AI & Simulation Project”. The topics ranged from visualizing contact risks to deep-learning-based models of virus transmission. This ongoing governmental project aims to balance economic activities and prevention measures against the virus spread.
Overall, while the developments in Ukraine were present in most discussions, MIPIM visitors focused on re-establishing old contacts and pondering upon the business challenges. For example, the issue of ESG has definitely moved to the core of investment decisions. Investors, developers, and regulatory bodies are still searching for a clear definition of the term and a fair balance between environmental, social, and governance factors. However, the commitment to ESG has become so strong that it even overrides current concerns about high energy costs.
Leonard Meyer zu Brickwedde