In an interview with Ansa, Mr Graziano Messana, as a consultant in Brazil, talks about the scenarios of law firms in Brazil, of areas where it provides more business opportunities and access to credit for Italian companies in Brazil.
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For several years he has been operating in Brazil, managing more than 30 Italian subsidiaries. Mr Messana has close contact with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo and local institutions, with Borsa Italiana Project Elite and with Brazilian law firms connected to the Italian market. Graziano Messana is managing partner of GM Venture, a company that provides interim management and consulting services to foreign companies investing in Brazil.
Question. What is the panorama of Brazilian law firms that work with Italian companies?
Answer. Although the first two countries investing in Brazil remain China and the United States, Italian investments in recent years have become increasingly prominent in the last year to see Italy as the first investor, thanks in part to the investments made by Enel. There are as many as eight Italian desks in Brazilian law firms that divide the market and are all medium-sized studios that offer a full-service service. Some have exclusivity agreements with Italian studios, and others work with various Italian studios. However, the common denominator is that in Brazil, they have a team of Italians inside the desks. There is healthy competition, and this is very positive, especially for us who are “users” of these services.
Q. What are the main issues you encounter in collaborating with lawyers working alongside Italian companies that want to start operating in Brazil?
A. You underestimate the Brazilian jurisdiction a little bit. Perhaps because civil law applies here as in Italy, or because there may be a bit of professional jealousy. But sometimes the Italian law firm struggles to create contact with a Brazilian firm or struggles to put the client directly counted with the corresponding Brazilian firm. We work with all the studios and often call us to ask for advice on which legal structure to choose on-site. Having shown the pros and cons of the various options, our counsel is, to establish an agreement, let’s say a gentleman agreement so that we can share the relationship with more serenity and work all more harmoniously. It is also true, however, that the Italian firm asks us to contract the Brazilian legal services and limit ourselves to using the Brazilian studio exclusively for the necessary and with a precise budget constraint. They both work as solutions.
Q. Which sectors do you expect the most business opportunities for Italian imprints in Brazil?
A. The energy field and in the lead renewables. The world that revolves around infrastructure and all the induced. That follows the automotive, especially after the investments announced by Fca this month. The digital security and security industry also continues to grow.
Q. Access to credit: What are the opportunities for Italian companies?
A. Companies that have a parent company in Italy have access to privileged credit because they can finance themselves at much more attractive rates than local companies. This undoubtedly results in a competitive advantage. In addition, lines of credit can be structured in Reais, resulting in the coverage of the exchange risk, accessing instruments that are easy to Companies that have a parent company in Italy have access to others credit because they can finance themselves at much more attractive rates than local companies. This undoubtedly results in a competitive advantage. Besides, lines of credit can be structured in Reais, covering the exchange risk and accessing instruments that are easy to implement, this is not only reserved for large companies but also for small and medium-sized Italian companies that invest in Brazil.