Interview of the month: Emerson Kapaz


Source:, March 2005

P: Ceat and CBT are NGOs linked to the Diocese of São Paulo and promote the (re) qualification and reinsertion of workers in the labor market. We seek to provide comprehensive care to those who seek us, who are those who are on the margins of the production process; we offer qualification courses, psychological and spiritual support. We make available to companies a bank of vacancies and make a pre-selection crossing the profile of the worker with the type of professional that the company needs. D. Cláudio, known internationally as the Workers' Cardinal, feels committed to this cause and Ceat and CBT reflect this concern. How do you see this type of initiative and what can it effectively contribute to the situation of workers and the country's production process?

A: I think this initiative is very important and relevant. This type of worker that you serve is outside the productive system. He has greater difficulty in entering the job market; sometimes you don't stand a chance. This worker needs a breach to enter and it is very difficult to find it. That is why I think your work is so important: you represent this gap for him where he will be able to enter the job market.

Q: The National Thought of Business Bases (PNBE), created in 1987, represented a transformation both in the business sphere and in the positive impact it had on public opinion. What changes did it bring at the time and today, what is the PNBE's effective contribution to society, especially for entrepreneurs and workers?

A: Our proposal was to change the philosophy of business thinking and also the public's view of the business sector. We wanted to show that we faced difficulties and, at that time, we talked about social responsibility. We were the pioneers in this, questioning Fiesp and facing resistance from some entrepreneurs. I used to joke and say that when there was a change in the business mindset, we would disappear. We have not disappeared, but this aspect is no longer so relevant, because it was ahead of its time and today it has, in a way, been incorporated by society. Currently, PNBE exists with different proposals.

Q: You are hitting the issue of taxes and bureaucratic obstacles. What does this represent in terms of an obstacle to Brazilian economic growth and to the generation of jobs and income?

A: This is crucial. We are experiencing a process of unfair competition between ethical companies, which pay their taxes and have consistent practices, and those that do not have this mentality and gain a differential of 30% or 40%, evading taxes, to compete. There are more advantages for those outside the formal system than for those inside, a dichotomy between the formal and the informal economy. But the tax system needs to change, the burdens must decrease so that those who are in the informal sector today, can enter the formality. Informality has no social return for the employee, but he also prefers to be informal, because he sees no social return in what is deducted from his salary. The gateway to informality is not to register employees, it is to go outside the formal system, to have box two ...

It is important to say that there is a Pirate State, which is there to serve this illegal market. There are politicians and judges who work outside the legal system, inspectors who supplement income at the expense of tax evasion and corruption. But we too, as a society, need to be aware and demand a new posture from the government. And, in our daily lives, be aware: each pirated purchase is a contribution to the permanence of this state of affairs. There is, on the one hand, a bombardment of advertising and, on the other, the consumer, who cannot afford to pay for this consumption. For him it is more viable to buy pirated products, even if he is not always aware that he contributes to this Pirate State.

A: In this context, what is the way out for small businesses?

A: The proposal is to create a transition mechanism. Simples ends up being an obstacle to growth. The small company goes through the "Peter Pan syndrome", because if it grows, it is doomed. In my opinion, it is necessary to create a "supersimple", a single taxation for municipal, state and federal taxes, to decrease and simplify taxation today. The load on inescapable products and services has increased: electricity, telephone, gas, essential products, fuels, etc. The government is taking its survival from this and causing a vicious cycle.

Q: What do you think about Union Reform?

A: I agree with you that it must be accompanied by a Tax Reform. It will help with direct negotiation and a better capital-labor relationship.

Flexibility will ensure rights and strengthen negotiations, of course, with minimal guarantees in a renewed and airy CLT. The worker inside the company knows better about your company than a union outside. The employers 'or workers' union tax supports archaic structures.

Q: How was the Brazilian Institute of Professional Ethics (ETCO) born?

A: At the initiative of companies in four sectors: beer, fuel, soft drinks and tobacco. In late 2002 they created OSCIP and asked me to preside. ETCO acts, primarily, in the search for solutions to three serious problems of the economy:

The first is the increasing tax evasion, partly resulting from the high Brazilian tax burden (36,4% of the gross domestic product), higher than that of countries such as the United States, England, Canada and even Switzerland, all with per capita income. capita much higher than the Brazilian.

The other two are the illegal trade in products and adulteration of brands.

Q: In your opinion, what are the elements necessary to combine competition with ethics?

A: It is to develop a mindset that it is not possible to have competition without ethics. You can't talk about healthy competition without ethics. For this reason, the objectives of ETCOS are: To identify and diagnose the factors that cause unfair competition in the market;
inform and sensitize public opinion about the consequences of unfair competition;
mobilize and support constituted powers and private entities to combat unfair competition;
propose additional legal instruments to curb the spread of unfair competition practices.

A: What do you need to do to overcome the difficulties in opening and especially maintaining new companies?

R: To resolve the issue, do we have to work in the bureaucracy? unify the commercial boards of Brazil, unify CPFs, have only one State, Municipal and Federal Registration. Behind the bureaucracy, there is the mentality of making it difficult to sell easily. We have to come up with a more equal system with the rest of the world. The government has to believe in the good faith of those who are opening a company, of those who are concerned with contributing to the country and putting anyone in jail who comes with mischief. One cannot start from the opposite assumption.