Our commitment for 2016
by Evandro Guimarães, President of ETCO
Regarding ETCO's mission to contribute to making the business environment healthier, fighting unfair practices, 2015 was a busy year, but not very productive. Unfortunately, there has been no significant progress in reducing tax evasion, in tax simplification, in the vigorous fight against smuggling, counterfeiting of products, and piracy.
The research we conducted in partnership with FGV's Brazilian Institute of Economics, on the representativeness of informal activities in the country, is proof of this. The Underground Economy Index, measured since 2003, had been falling systematically, but in 2015 it was stagnant and, according to the researchers, there are indications that it may be growing again.
This unfavorable scenario for business ethics results, in part, from the country's economic crisis. In times of crisis, especially when the government raises taxes, as has been the case, there is always a risk of increasing informality and illegality. But this deterioration also reflects the lack of determination to combat these evils.
The only advance may have been in the field of fighting corruption. It is too early to assess whether the revelations and condemnations that are giving Brazilians so much hope will have the expected effect of reducing corruption in public procurement. There is still a long battle in court.
In relation to 2016, we know that it will also be a difficult year. Our commitment is to continue participating or leading movements to combat competitive deviations that hinder Brazil's development. This is our fight.
Article: The precariousness of the rule of law
Stability and clarity are minimum requirements for law enforcement. This is not what you see in Brazil. Standards are changed frequently, often with deplorable technical quality. The interpretation given to the norms also changes continuously, without plausible justification.