As a legal advisory firm with a strong presence in the business area, we have been able to perceive with great sensitivity the moments of change in investors' mood towards Brazil's economy. The most recent one, no doubt, started in the second half of 2019 and has been intensifying in the beginning of this year, driven by an atmosphere of more optimism and confidence in Brazil.

A positive agenda of more liberal tendencies, involving cutting red tape and fiscal discipline, has given a new focus to the market and had a very clear impact on projects of various natures that we are being invited to support.

Even in the face of threats such as the coronavirus epidemic in China, whose potential impacts on Brazil are not yet very clear, there is a general perception of a resumption of growth, benefiting from a previously repressed agenda of projects in the areas of airports, ports, highways, basic sanitation, energy, oil and gas, among others.

Another factor that contributes to improving the business environment is the control of inflation and the persistent downward trend of basic interest rates in the economy, currently at their historical low. The real estate segment, for example, is already registering signs of reheating.

This new economic environment opens a very positive window for business in the capital markets, with the prospect of increasing initial public offerings (IPOs) by Brazilian companies in search of new ways to finance their operations. We have no doubt that good projects, in expanding sectors, will attract the interest of investors.

Abroad, where low and even negative interest rates have been a reality for some time, there is a huge liquidity stock awaiting good and safe projects in reliable countries with properly functioning institutions. The interest of foreigners, be they institutional investors, private equity funds or sovereign wealth or pension funds, in local projects has been increasing since last year.

If Brazil is able to advance this year in structural reforms that boost our productivity and reduce market uncertainties regarding the economy in the medium and long term, part of these funds that are now available abroad will certainly take Brazil's course in ever-increasing and faster flow, increasing our chances of sustained growth.

Examples are administrative reform, an attempt to restructure the federal public service to contain the increase in compulsory government expenditure, and tax reform, designed to simplify and cut red tape in the payment of taxes in Brazil. Both are scheduled to be debated by the Brazilian Congress in 2020.

Another issue that will be on companies’ day-to-day agenda is the effort to adapt to the General Data Protection Law (LGPD), which comes into force in August. This work began last year and should intensify going forward, with companies finishing mapping the data they store and the forms of access authorized for them to implement the new procedures required by the legislation start on August 15.

The LGPD is just one example of how technology should affect business decisions in all sectors in the coming years. In the legal segment, the trend is no different. Technological advances may generate relevant transformation in the services we provide, with an overall improvement in the quality and efficiency of operations for clients.

To the traditional concern with the technical qualifications of our lawyers has been added in recent years to a keen eye for technological innovation, with investments in research and development for automation projects and artificial intelligence. Our team for technology applied to law, for example, achieved major advances in 2019 and we expect to implement some projects already in 2020.

Little by little, these investments are translating into a better experience for clients not only in terms of costs and response time, but above all in more precision in our analyses, in order to continue offering the market legal intelligence capable of boosting good business, a key issue in a year that promises to be very positive for the Brazilian economy.