Paulo Skaf, the president of the Fiesp (Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo), in Brazil, called for a joint effort by government officials and private enterprise to combat the illegal sale of pirated products.
“We have to declare war on this unfair competition,” he emphasized, recalling that piracy is present not only on the streets of São Paulo, but those of New York and Washington as well.
According to the business leader, 80% of the counterfeit merchandise sold in the country comes from abroad.
When asked his view of the influx of Chinese products in this process, Skaf argued that “the practice of trade with China is unjust and illegal in the case of piracy,” and he said that he expects the appropriate government officials to react to this practice.
Moreover, he affirmed, it is necessary immediately to reject and react to “any trade relationship that threatens us with retaliations or reprisals. This is not protectionism; it is trade defense.”
It is estimated that tax evasion in just four sectors – clothing, sneakers, toys, and eyeglasses – comes to around US$ 3.6 billion (R$ 9 billion), according to an Ibope study commissioned by the United States Chamber of Commerce and the American chapter of the Brazil-United States Entrepreneurial Council, in partnership with the Dannemann Siemens Institute and Warner Bros Consumer Products.
A survey based on 602 interviews, conducted during the period April 7-13, demonstrates that the biggest consumers of pirated products are young people aged 16-24.
The poll also reveals that 70% of consumers were generally aware that the products were counterfeit and that what most attracted them was the price, half or less than half of what the genuine article costs.
The preference is for clothes that imitate name brands, but items in other sectors, such as toys, sneakers, watches, electronic games, eyeglasses, CDs, DVDs, and perfumes, are also appealing.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br