Founded in 2003, the Brazilian Institute for Ethics in Competition is a Non-Government Organization that gathers corporations and trade associations aiming to promote the improvement of the business environment and to stimulate initiatives to avoid competitive disadvantages caused by tax evasion, informality, product adulteration and other kinds of business misconducts. In a broader spectrum, to bring awareness to society about the social harmfulness of non-ethical business practices and its impact on the Country’s development. Furthermore, to propose and to support actions that stimulate ethical behavior on the economy. ETCO is formed by six industry chambers to include technology, pharmaceutical, fuel distribution, tobacco, breweries and soft drinks.
ETCO commemorates 10 years of activity (subtitles in English)
To promote ethics in competition and fiscal balance striving to business development in a fair and attractive environment for investments
From now on, unlawfulness will have to meet face to face with ethics
ETCO´s objectives – Areas of operation:
To inform public opinion about the dangers and losses caused by tax evasion in its several forms.
To seek for institutional and legislative improvements that stimulate legal competition practices.
To cooperate with governmental authorities for the improvement of tax evasion preventive measures and instruments.
ETCO and Society
Abiding by rules of close companionship is paramount to a healthy life in society. Otherwise the law of the stronger will prevail and every man for himself takes place.
The acceptance of some of these basic behavior norms was responsible for the harmonic coexistence between humans of different species in the first urban conglomerates.
Life synergy in larger groups generated the great humanity progress along the centuries. This synergy, thousands of years afterwards, was identified by Adam Smith as the workload division that allows for professional expertise and great improvement in productivity. This progress therefore is entirely dependent to the respect to behavior norms, translated by the set of society’s laws.
The respect for these norms of coexistence is a public benefit that carries a dangerous trait. If everyone abides by the law, one that breaks it, can, individually and in a short term, gain advantages over the whole community. A possible outcome is that the remaining members of this society, upon being aware of such misconduct, begin to act accordingly, thus eliminating the initial advantage of the first transgressor, creating a vicious circle of disrespecting to the laws, bringing harm to all the society.
It’s the State obligation to create these laws and make sure that they are abided by. In case it fails in this endeavor, someone will occupy this space. Unfortunately this is already happening in some places in Brazil, where criminality is taking over State functions in this social intervention. This dangerous anomaly cannot flourish. Once again, society must get organized to struggle for the State of Law and respect for the juridical norms.
In order to achieve this goal, the stimulation of a volunteer adherence to these coexistence rules, to this ethical behavior, is a must. The larger the portion of the population voluntarily adhering to this ethical pattern of behavior, the lesser resources will have to be allocated to force the people to respect the laws, or to defend society from the harmful actions of those who don’t respect these rules.
The Brazilian Institute for Ethics in Competition wants to participate in this battle and invites everyone to join us around this ideal.
ETCO and the Public Sector
The public sector is essential to the performance of a market economy. The free initiative of producing and consuming, calls for, at least, the guarantee of private property and the respect to the contracts freely agreed between the parts. Without some legal framework, the economic transactions would be extremely difficult, expensive and rare.
It’s up to the public sector to elaborate the laws that arrange social life in general and economic life specifically. Furthermore, not only the elaboration, but also its compliance and the resolution of inevitable conflicts of interests. These are the primary tasks of the public sector. The better these functions are fulfilled, the better will be human coexistence and the economic environment. And a healthy economic environment will open the way for a healthy and sustainable development.
The investments decisions are particularly sensible to the economic environment. The action to invest is like betting in the future. You pay today in order to reap the benefits tomorrow. The guarantee that the rules that justify the investment today, will be present in the future, is a decisive factor when investment time comes up. If any doubts as for these guarantees arise, the natural defense of potential investors will be to call for higher yields and short terms, making it difficult for long term investments, a must for a development scenario.
Only the Government with its enforcement power can render these services. But society can help a lot in this task. The more voluntarily the economic agents respect legislation, the easier will be the public sector task and the less repressive and punitive actions will be needed.
On the other hand, the more rational, simpler and less bureaucratized, easily understandable and usage are the rules established spontaneously by the Government, the more there will be the obedience factor, the improvement of the business environment and larger the economic growth.
ETCO struggles in both fronts. To create a social environment favorable to the compliance of the established rules, and to help in the construction of fair and easy to apply rules. And our doors are open to those who want to lend a hand and joining us to move ahead.