"ETCO stands out in the ethical defense of competition and in strengthening business morals"

What is the role of ethics for the country's development – ​​and, in particular, what is the role of competition ethics in this mission? Although with similar roots (ethos/mos), for common sense, a moral requirement prevails in the business world: good faith, loyalty, without which relationships work badly.

For ethics, the target is competitiveness as a right to act creatively in the free market game. In itself, the market is blind to individuals, and in it not all agents are equally free. Hence the need for collective, ethical precepts. And it is in its implementation that it plays a role in the development of emerging countries in a globalized world.

Public ethics

ETCO has played a significant role in both ethically defending competition and strengthening business morals. In the first case, I remember the commitment of your fight for tax justice; consequently, the fight against smuggling and the critical view of tax reforms. In the second, its strong reaction against corruption, which assaults business morals and perverts public ethics.

Free competition

All business activity is aimed at profit, but free competition must be preserved, since its elimination is the means by which economic power dominates the market and perverts it. The principle of free competition guarantees, in the name of the community, the exercise of free enterprise and demands, like any right, respect for ethical limits. These must not only be sought in free competition itself, but also in the exercise of other freedoms, such as consumption and access to the benefits of property and production.

Tercio Sampaio Ferraz Junior, lawyer, has a doctorate in Law from USP and in Philosophy from the University of Mainz, Germany. Professor at USP and PUC-SP, he was attorney-general of the National Treasury (1991), executive secretary of the Ministry of Justice (1990) and legal director of Fiesp (1981)


Interview with Victório de Marchi, advisor and one of the founders of ETCO

1. What is the importance of promoting competitive ethics for the country's development?

Victório de Marchi – The business environment in Brazil and in the world needs to be continually improved and guided by ethical conduct, not only in the relationship with employees, partners and customers, but also with the competition itself. The promotion of competition ethics results in the confrontation of misconduct such as smuggling, forgery, evasion and tax evasion, for example. The equality of conditions in competitive practices helps to avoid losses not only to companies, but to the various levels of governments and Brazilian society as a whole.

2. How do you see ETCO's contribution to improving the business environment in these almost 20 years of operation?

I am proud to be one of the founders and former chairman of the ETCO Board of Directors. I remember the first movements around the idea, in 2002, when some sectors got together to assess how it would be possible to improve the business environment in our country, as there were many competition deviations.

In these 20 years, ETCO has consolidated itself as a reference source in the defense of a fair market, in which all its agents can have equal conditions in competitive practices.

I can cite as an example, the fundamental participation of ETCO, in the approval of article 146 A of the Brazilian Constitution, which authorizes the creation, through a complementary law, of special taxation criteria with the objective of preventing competition imbalances. Another example was the creation of the Underground Economy Index, which measures the size of informality in the country and is a safe source for the development of public policies aimed at reducing informality. More recently, ETCO financed a study on Brazilian Tax Litigation, which identified, among other points, the need for Tax Transactions and the expansion of Mediation and Arbitration instruments, as ways to reduce this problem.

3. And what would be the challenges for the coming years?

The achievements accumulated by ETCO are very important and must be celebrated, but there are still many other causes for which the Institute must continue to fight. Among them, the reduction of the Brazilian tax burden and the establishment of special taxation criteria to prevent imbalances in competition and the reduction of the period of legal discussions in the country - which take, on average, 17 years, generating huge liabilities for the private sector .