Friday, February 19, 2016


Common questions that come to mind from an investor would be:

“ Should I invest in properties in the Philippines?"
“If yes, where should I invest?"
“ What’s the economic outlook in store for real estate development in the Philippines?"

These questions were at the heart of discussion in Anvil Business Club’s first exchange forum in 2016. Anvil invited two of the most prominent real estate gurus: David Leechiu and Karima Palafox to share their insights and studies to the club’s young and passionate members.

Mr. David Leechiu, currently CEO and founder of Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc., is regarded as one of the country’s top if not the top real estate and property consultant. David admitted he was a high school drop out of Xavier School. He would then graduate from University of Asia and Pacific wherein his direction in life would find a new twist: focusing on his career and learning about real estate. After a few stints with real estate consultancy firms, he would then establish his own, Leechiu and Associates. Later on he would forge a partnership with one of the leading property consultants in the world, Jones Lang LaSalle giving birth to Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu and Associates. David would become the regional country manager of Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu for seven years. During his term, he consummated more than 50 billion pesos worth of real estate transactions.

Mr. David Leechiu captivated the audience with his comprehensive and detailed powerpoint presentation outlining the challenges and reasons for optimism in the Philippines’ real estate growth potential. He pinpointed to the expected completion of major infrastructure projects like NLEX-SLEX connector road, LRT 1 extension to Cavite, MCX Daang hari connection to SLEX to name a few which will spur economic growth in areas related to all these infrastructure development. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has surged for the past 10 years to more than P20 billion in revenues. David highlighted several high growth areas in the country with Fort Bonifacio and Makati as still the top destinations for BPO locators. Despite of the huge growth potential in the real estate sector in the Philippines, he is quoted as saying, “We are cautiously optimistic with the real estate growth in the Philippines.” due to the several risk factors and challenges posed by economic uncertainties in the world market.

The second guest speaker, Ms. Karima Palafox is a Senior Urban Planner and the Managing Partner at Palafox Associates, one of the top architecture, planning, design and real estate consultancy firms in Asia. Karima earned her Master’s degree in Industrial Economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific and her Master of Science degree in Urban Planning with specialization in Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University. She is a registered urban planner in the United Kingdom and in the Philippines. In October 2014 , the Urban Land Institute honored her as one of the 40 Under 40, which represents the best young real estate and land use professionals around the world.

Ms. Karima engaged the crowd with her illuminating presentation of urban planning as the key to providing a positive living environment for people. As quoted by Fred Kent, Project for Public Spaces, “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” She discussed about her current projects in many areas in the Philippines including Palawan and Zamboanga, which are all growth potential areas for real estate and tourism development. She presented examples of correct urban design in specific cities in Netherlands, France and Italy wherein basic needs of life like greenery, clean air and pedestrian paths are standard requirements for a township development.
The first Anvil Exchange Forum is the first part of a series of theme inspired forums introduced this year. Anvil Business Club Inc. commends the Program Committee under the leadership of VP Patrick Cua and Director Jayson Sze for staging a jam packed event. The club thanks the core team, headed by Chairperson Christine ‘Dara’ Ko, and her hardworking colleagues: Bettina Reyes, Eckhart Ang, Kevin Tai and Dir Lorina Tan for organizing the successful forum.

The Anvil Business Club is an organization of dynamic entrepreneurs and professionals committed to promoting positive values and influencing excellence in their respective fields, for the economic and social progress of the country. For membership inquiries, please contact the anvil secretariat at and tel no. 726-7029.

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