A Dubai office can serve as a gateway to markets that have not traditionally had strong links with Spain, such as Thailand, Iran and Burma
The Middle East and Southeast Asia are “attractive markets” that offer significant opportunities for Spanish investors, says Fernando Gómez y Gómez-Calcerrada (pictured), a partner at RLD.
“Most medium and large businesses have looked West, towards Europe, Latin America and the US, but we believe that there is a lot of potential in the East,” says Gómez y Gómez-Calcerrada. In response to investor demand for services across the Middle East and Asia, RLD opened a Dubai office in 2012. “Dubai is a great launching pad for very attractive markets which haven’t traditionally had strong links with Spain, such as Thailand, Iran and Burma,” says Gómez y Gómez-Calcerrada. “Thailand is a very mature market which enjoys political stability and offers many opportunities yet to be explored,” he adds.
As well as advising Spanish clients, RLD acts on behalf of Middle East investors, who are particularly interested in retail, real estate and the agricultural sector. When handling cross-border matters in jurisdictions outside investors’ comfort zone, access to advisors who speak their language brings peace of mind, argues Gómez y Gómez-Calcerrada. “English is of course a ‘lingua franca’ in transactions, and the requirements are usually those associated with English-speaking jurisdictions, but being able to deal with an adviser who speaks Spanish adds an element of comfort for clients.”
Meanwhile, foreign investors are increasingly targeting assets in Spain and Portugal. When advising foreign clients, Gómez y Gómez-Calcerrada believes that one of the main challenges is helping investors to understand the requirements and procedures governing transactions in Spain. “Spain and Portugal are very attractive markets, very much in the mind of international investors – we help them understand the local requirements and processes, and to overcome any handicaps they may encounter.”