Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are increasingly gaining the confidence of international investors and are taking steps to develop their legal and regulatory frameworks, according to Deloitte Abogados managing partner Luis Fernando Guerra.
He adds that such markets are appealing to Spanish companies, which, as a result of the economic crisis, have placed a greater emphasis on expanding their businesses into foreign countries.
“Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are doing really well and they´re attracting investment,” Guerra says. “They´re offering stability and open economies.” He adds that, while Peru, Colombia and Ecuador may not be the biggest countries in the region, they are more open and have less barriers to investment than Brazil, for example.
The sectors in the three countries that offer the biggest opportunities for law firms include infrastructure, manufacturing and renewable energy. “These are areas where we can offer expertise,” says Guerra. “There are many opportunities, industrialisation is low and we speak the same language.”
Meanwhile, Guerra also highlights the Far East – specifically China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia – as an area of considerable potential, particularly in the energy and manufacturing sectors. He adds that Spanish companies are targeting these markets because the main lesson from the economic crisis is that “international diversification is extremely important”.
Guerra says clients are increasingly demanding law firms that will “go with them anywhere in the world”. He adds: “Clients are moving everywhere in the world and competition in the legal market will be stronger over the next few years.”
“The biggest challenge is to work with international clients and provide them with the same quality of expertise in every jurisdiction,” Guerra says. “More and more clients are realising the potential of legal networks and this tendency will increase on the coming months and years.”