Jakarta. The Middle East Cities Center in the American University in Dubai has appointed Rusmin Lawin, the deputy chairman for foreign relations at Real Estate Indonesia, or REI, as an international advisor to help it advance sustainability agenda in Asia and the Middle East.
Mahmoud AlBurai, the Middle East Cities Center chairman, said that he was impressed with Rusmin's global networks, knowledge, and experiences, particularly in affordable housing programs and green and sustainable city development.
"We expect his significant roles to bring all resources from the East (Asia Pacific) and the West (Europe) and North America to collaborate with us in transforming Middle East cities as green, sustainable and resilient cities," AlBurai said in a statement to the Globe on Wednesday.
"UAE and Middle East countries in Gulf Cooperation Council is the financial, economic and industrial hub in Middle East region while Asia especially Asean is also an economic center and strategic production hub. Besides, both of them are ones or the biggest market in the world," he said.
"Can you imagine if we can create a strategic collaboration at the business-to-business level? This strategic collaboration will contribute to more jobs and economic development globally. That is what we need during the combating-with-Covid-19 era," AlBurai said.
REI's Rusmin is currently spearheading the organization's efforts to promote Nusantara, Indonesia's new capital project in East Kalimantan, to foreign investors. It was such a critical role as the government expected 81 percent of the project's $33 billion costs would be coming from local and foreign investors.
In the past two months, Rusmin, who was also the Asia Pacific region president at International Real Estate Federation (Fiabci), went on a roadshow to meet prospective investors and experts in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to pique their interest in the new capital project.
Rusmin said he was honored to become an advisor at the newly-established Middle East Cities Center.
"This think tank aims to bridge the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and technology in green and sustainable development. My job is to bring the East and the West to the Middle East. The center expects me to bring new knowledge and network to allow Middle East cities to be developed in a green and sustainable way," Rusmin told the Globe on Wednesday.
The American University in Dubai launched the Middle East Cities Center early this month. The center aims to conduct city sustainability studies, covering the field's economic, social, and environmental aspects, the university said in a statement on Feb 9.
The center's advisory council includes several government officials at the federal and local levels, as well as international experts and private sector representatives.