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United Arab Emirates: the gateway to all of Asia

The publication Ejecutivos, has interviewed our colleague Leticia Torres, director of the RLD office in Dubai in which she explains and exposes the contribution of the firm to an association such as the Club de Exportadores e Inversores (the Exporters and Investors Club) and the benefits that a country like the United Arab Emirates contributes to all those companies that want to undertake in the internationalization of their company. What does an entity like RLD bring to the Exporters Club? The knowledge and experience of both our own and our clients in the process of internationalization of companies, as well as a wide network of contacts. What development expectations do you have for your international market? At this time, our efforts are focused on strengthening our presence in our current markets and meeting the needs of our clients in markets where we do not have a direct presence through collaboration agreements. In the medium or long term, if it is our intention to increase our presence both in the Gulf area and in Asia. What have been the biggest challenges you have had throughout your history? They are not few, from the very establishment of our entity in the UAE as a regulation for us until then unknown, customs, etc. the high turnover of the UAE's own personnel, getting a niche and a name in the market and of course, the pandemic, both at the business level and at the personal level of the team.

What strategy do you adopt to penetrate a market like the United Arab Emirates? First of all, do your homework well, know the country, the culture and the establishment requirements well. Although it may seem like an obvious step, there are many companies that seek to expand their businesses solely based on recommendations from acquaintances, positive experiences from close people, etc. Although we consider this a good starting point, the previous study and analysis step is possibly the most important step in an expansion process, since a failure of planning or establishment can jeopardize the entire investment. In our case, this previous analysis arose from the increase in the presence of clients in Madrid in the UAE, and their lack of advice at the destination. We also consider essential to have a person who will lead the project with previous experience in the country, both personally and professionally. No matter how flexible a country is when it comes to attracting foreign investment, there are always differences with respect to Spain, both when doing business and adapting to life in that country. Having a person who is already familiar with the country and the way of doing business, reduces the take-off time of the new investment. At an international level, what are the main advantages that RLD offers compared to its competitors? Without a doubt, the team, and the fact that the entire team is Spanish-speaking and mainly from Spain. This translates into peace of mind for clients to be able to deal not only in Spanish with any problem or situation they face, but also to have the support of Spanish lawyers permanently displaced at their destination. The legal trend is to focus the advisory business with LATAM or other European countries, but in the case of RLD, the relationship with the United Arab Emirates stands out. Are there any expansion plans to other Asian territories? Indeed, one of the great advantages of the UAE is that it is the gateway to Asia, so it would make no sense for us not to cross this threshold. Currently, we are focused on expanding our presence directly both in the Gulf area and moving into Southeast Asia. Additionally, we have closed numerous collaboration agreements with entities in order to satisfy the demands and needs of our clients in those regions where we do not have presence.

Is there any kind of difficulty in conducting international business with the United Arab Emirates from Spain in legal matters? Difficulty per se, no, but great differences in their legal systems and great ignorance of the country in Spain. For this reason, this being our spirit, we always recommend having the support of experts in legal matters both in Spain and in the UAE, since if there is one thing for which the Emirati legal system stands out, it is the constant change and updating. The Spanish Exporters and Investors Club is a multisectoral, independent and non-profit business association. Its main objective is to represent and defend the interests of its partners in relation to their international activity. It is a forum for reflection and knowledge in which internationalization is positioned as a key asset for the competitiveness of the Spanish economy. You can click here to visit the original interview in Ejecutivos.

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