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The booming countries in Latin America

Posted by: Laurence Simons 01/07/15

As Latin America continues to attract attention from international investors, particularly from the US, we look at which areas of the sector are buzzing, and the places that are commanding the top interest.

Mexico – As several structural reforms are being undertaken in the oil, gas, power and telecoms sectors, and a historic bill has been passed to end a 75-year state monopoly on the energy sector, there is much activity in regulating the new legal regimes in these areas. Other disciplines such as anticorruption, transparency, environmental and international trade are also booming due to increased foreign investment. All in all, the legal sector is abuzz with activity – an excellent time to be in Mexico.

Chile – Also undergoing a period of reform is Chile. Their market is expanding, in particular in areas such as renewable energy, and tax and labour due to new structural legislation. Although outside investment is not as high as Mexico, the prospect of a renewal of the constitution means that the door is ajar for those who are interested in this legal market.

Brazil – Brazil has a highly sophisticated legal market, but outside firms – particularly from the UK and US – who have a presence there are restricted from advising on Brazilian law and confined to operating within the boundaries of their homes’ legislation. But with predictions that change is ultimately on the horizon, this makes Brazil a very hot place to add to any investment portfolio.

Columbia – Again, there has been much investment in Columbia, particularly in infrastructure. The ongoing 4G road projects are encouraging huge development in the area, which in turn is bringing many business opportunities. The legal sector is bustling, with many local firms finding that their infrastructure teams and finance groups are inundated with work.

More generally, US firms continue to have a large presence in Latin America, with particularly high density in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile. As the region emerges through development and reform, it is definitely becoming an increasingly interesting player on the international legal stage.