Views from FELABAN 2012: Martin Litwak, Litwak and Partners

World Finance interviews Martin Litwak, Managing Partner of Litwak & Partners, on the conference floor of FELABAN 2012 in Lima

December 20, 2012

World Finance talks to Martin Litwak about networking opportunities at FELABAN, the challenges for Uruguay and the region in general as crisis-hit countries recover, and how Latin America must improve the rule of law to give security to investors.

FELABAN is one of the largest finance conferences in this part of the world, so, you know, every banker, every law firm active in the banking industry is here. So, we come to see our clients, to see colleagues, to try to expand our business, to learn something, maybe? So it’s an interesting event.

We have seen growth over the last, you know, five or six years, but that was mostly because of the international situation: the crisis in Europe, before that the crisis in the US, more than because Uruguay has done the right things to grow. so I guess the biggest challenge now is, okay, the world will recover sometime, it’s a fact it will happen – every crisis ends. And we have to see not only in Uruguay but in Latin America in general how those countries are prepared to compete when Europe and the United States are back in the game.

2013 will be a good year for most of the countries. I think Latin America has always been weak in terms of providing rule of law to investors; I think that’s the biggest issue in Latin America, and that’s the reason why some people that find an interesting opportunity, decide not to invest, because they don’t know what’s going to happen if they need to leave the country, they don’t know what’s going to happen if the government nationalises those investments. I mean, that won’t happen in Uruguay, which is rather conservative and traditional country. But still. It’s difficult to find regulations incentivising foreign investment.