Wooing big bucks World Congress: Maryland's economic boosters try to win over powerful real estate decision makers.


AMONG OUT-of-towners in Baltimore this week are 1,500 members of the International Development Research Council, the world's leading group of corporate real estate decision makers.

It includes not only executives from such Fortune 500 powerhouses as AT&T;, Exxon, General Electric Co., GTE and Coca-Cola but leaders from banking and insurance conglomerates. No wonder Maryland's economic development officials are in a tizzy.

This marks the first time the IDRC World Congress, an event that takes place twice a year, has been held here. Since the participants' primary responsibilities are site selection, property acquisition, real estate management, facility development and expansion, their convention gives city and state economic development specialists -- and the Greater Baltimore Alliance -- an opportunity to promote this region's strengths and advantages.

This morning's keynote address is "Managing Big Change." We in Maryland have been dealing with that issue for some time.

Stung by criticism that its business climate is not as accommodating as Virginia's or Pennsylvania's, Maryland subdivisions, as well as the state, have been changing the way they operate to make company executives and workers feel at home. Just ask some of the firms that have recently moved here.

IDRC participants will have plenty of time -- and local encouragement -- to do business outside the agenda of the Congress. Our word of welcome to them: Give Maryland a chance. This is, indeed, the Land of Pleasant Living.

Pub Date: 5/11/98

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