The Brazil we want to see

By Edson Vismona (*)

Brazil is the country of the future. Certainly a good part of Brazilians have heard this catchphrase. We grew up listening that this is a developing country, with great potential, a sleeping giant.

Why, then, does this future cost so much to arrive? How can we get rid of the obstacles that prevent Brazil from developing?

In fact, the nation we dream of will only begin to be built if we put aside rhetoric and go for immediate and effective actions for change, with the commitment of all.

In our experience, improving the business environment, simplifying entrepreneurial activities and combating corruption and illegality are the ways to achieve this goal.

In addition to the damage it causes to the Brazilian economy, the smuggling of cigarettes, weapons and drugs fuels organized crime, increasing the levels of violence that afflict the population every day.

We need to evolve, once and for all, from discourse to practice, with measures that actually oversee and restrain these activities, encouraging the industry to return to invest, and commerce, to sell.

With this in mind, the Mixed Parliamentary Front to Combat Smuggling and Counterfeiting and the Movement in Defense of the Brazilian Legal Market - a coalition formed by more than 70 entities representing sectors affected by illegality in Brazil - are joining forces with the government and civil society to launch, this Wednesday (29), the campaign “O Brasil que Nós Queremos”.

The objective is to act together in the construction of a better country, free from illegal trade, that can generate more jobs, income, revenue for the States and conditions of economic development for the population, based on ethical principles.

We have to fight corruption, but not just the one that appears in newspaper headlines. It is often hidden in actions such as smuggling, piracy, fraud, tax evasion and counterfeiting.

These illegal practices now add up to around R $ 130 billion, money that could be invested, for example, in the creation of jobs, income and in the improvement of health and education.

We need everyone's commitment, that is, society, government, parliamentarians, entities and associations. This includes more cooperation in inspection activities and the need to avoid new taxes, since the taxes, in addition to burdening the final consumer, end up having a negative impact on the collection of States.

Today we are launching this campaign nationwide, marked by actions in Brasília, São Paulo and Foz do Iguaçu, and by the implementation of a positive agenda for the coming months.

We established a pact and signed a protocol between the participants. The document includes, among other suggestions: technical and operational support for the execution of the National Border Plan, with special attention to economic and social actions and the inspection of the border between Brazil and Paraguay; the implementation of intelligence actions to combat smuggling; investments in human and technological resources and the promotion of discussions in the Legislative of measures that facilitate the execution of the border plan.

The much desired Brazil may be much closer than we imagined - only our joint effort will tell how long it will take us to get there. The future depends on what we do from today.

(*) EDSON VIMONA, lawyer, is president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (ETCO) and of the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP)

Article published in the Folha e São Paulo newspaper on 29/03/2017