Portugal and Spain are now in the Covid-19 aftermath. Both countries have an important percentage of their population fully vaccinated and normal life is coming back. Local inhabitants are resuming their day-to-day activities each time with fewer restrictions and tourists are arriving in greater figures. Airports and streets have more people.
As a consequence. economic activity is increasing and many projects that were left aside are being resumed.
Employment is recovering, especially because the hotels and restaurants are increasing their occupation and activity.
Real estate activity, both for foreign and local investors, is also recovering.
The new trends in the labour market are having an evident impact in the real estate market.
Homeworking implies a different space layout with dedicated areas and rooms for working and so-called digital nomads are seeking different locations with larger outdoor areas. The main cities’ outskirts and some rural areas not far from cities are becoming more attractive.
The last mile warehousing market is also experiencing an increase due to the new distribution trends, mainly the development of online shopping.
Another important trend in the legal market regards M&A. Many companies have suffered important losses during the pandemic and are in urgent need of funding. This situation presents many interesting business opportunities for investors with availability of financial resources.
These operations must result in the reinforcement of the equity of the targeted companies and this can be achieved through bank financing, private equity or using own resources.
In this view we consider that the role of private equity will be an important one in the future and that there is still an important space for growth and consolidation in this activity.
On the other hand Portugal is still considered a good ecosystem for the development of new technology projects and this, associated with the quality of life that characterises the country, continues to attract an increasing number of entrepreneurs to develop their projects in this country.
Acquiring assets or companies for a fair price and investing in its restructuring in order to repositioning it in the market, is also a type of operation we will most likely see in the years to come.
The rebound of the economy is having a positive impact in the legal market and will most certainly be boosted by the investment and incentives programmes put in place by the Portuguese governments with resource to European Union funding and that will support investments in areas such as climate transition, digital economy and social and territorial cohesion.
This investment plan to be achieved within the coming years will have a positive impact in the infrastructures market, where structural projects have been announced such as the development of the railway network or the development of Lisbon and Oporto metro networks.
One cannot forget that Portugal has also an ambitious programme for renewable energies and new large-scale PV plants are being projected and installed.
The coastal position of Portugal’s mainland and the Madeira and the Azores archipelagos also convert the sea-related investment projects into a very attractive market. The maritime economy will most certainly be a trend for the years to come.
Portugal is also consistently considered as one of the safest countries in the World and foreign investment is not only welcome but also encouraged and protected. This is an important aspect to be highlighted and that investors must bear in mind when analysing possible projects in the country.
Portuguese law firms are recovering their activity to pre-Covid-19 levels and are being more frequently asked to co-operate with firms from other jurisdictions; a model that proved to be so positive in the past, that is being resumed and will most certainly be enhanced.
Despite the even-larger similarities between different legal regimes, especially those of countries pertaining to the European Union or the European Economic Area, local insight, local knowledge and local practices can make an important difference.
The local expertise can be an important competitive advantage and Raposo Bernardo is well aware of it, from previous experiences co-operating with other firms in markets in which it is present.
Due to its connections with the African markets, Portuguese law firms also play an important role as co-operation platforms for those seeking legal support in Portuguese-speaking African Countries such as Angola, Cape Verde or Mozambique.
The support is required in projects of strategic importance not only for the companies involved but also for the countries benefiting from those projects in sectors such as transportation, construction and real estate, tourism, energy, insurance and banking services among others.
Local support has proven to be an important asset for foreign companies and investors seeking to provide the best quality advice to their clients and we are used to a close collaboration with international law firms that sometimes accompany these investments in a partnership that we always like to encourage, not least because it always benefits the projects and transactions.