The time is right for international investment in the Chicago area and local suburban REALTORS® are taking the lead on a first-of-its-kind, globally-focused economic development initiative here. The Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe), the largest REALTOR® association in Illinois and fourth-largest in the country, is co-hosting a trade mission in Rosemont May 16-17 with Mexico's national real estate association - AMPI (Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios).
This level of trade mission - between a local real estate association and another country's national association - marks the first time ever in the U.S. and convenes leaders in real estate, government, technology and other industries to showcase the Chicagoland area as a vibrant market for commercial and residential real estate investment. It makes sense to bring leaders and investors from Mexico here, as Mexico is the top international destination for U.S. buyers and Mexico is third after only Canada and China in real estate investment in the United States.
Every day, REALTORS® work with residential and commercial buyers and sellers to encourage investment here to bring jobs, tax revenue and additional benefits to our communities. MORe believes that we need to take bolder steps to introduce Illinois to the world. The Chicagoland area's strong workforce, access to O'Hare International Airport and the country's largest rail and trucking hub, a next-generation technology infrastructure, and Class A office space available for less than in other major cities are some factors the trade mission will highlight with Mexican business and government leaders.
Just as important are the relationships that our REALTORS® and other Illinois business and government leaders will continue to forge and foster with the Mexico delegation. We're working to build a system that allows for international investment transactions to happen with the ease of state-to-state transactions. That will result in continued reciprocal investment opportunities for local businesses. A legacy of the trade mission will be an online directory of those who are interested in Mexico-Illinois commerce.
MORe's Mexico-Illinois trade mission also is a model of a public-private collaboration. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, World Business Chicago and tech incubator 1871 are among a long list of important local participants who will share knowledge and best practices with business and government leaders from Mexico.
I am proud to say that this trade mission is just one facet of MORe's broader, more ambitious global initiative. Our REALTOR® members also are building investment relationships with real estate professionals in other nations, such as India, Sweden and Ghana. MORe's diverse membership makes these international efforts possible and reflects the diversity of local REALTORS® and the increasingly international population of the Chicagoland area. MORe's Global Council is recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® as a pre-eminent global initiative.
Sustainability in our global efforts relies upon the strength of the lasting relationships we build with business leaders from other nations. MORe REALTORS® have been working on international business relationships for several years and are committed to increasing the strength and reach of our global network far into the future. We encourage other industry trade organizations to follow our lead and use our work as a blueprint. We encourage Illinois business leaders in all industries to seek ways to promote international investment here and foster cross-border commerce. It is good for our businesses, our communities and our state.
Lynn Madison is President of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and owner of Lynn Madison Seminars, a real estate training and development company.
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