Haiti e Brasil

2009 Index of Economic Freedom, da Heritage Foundation, estabelece seus parâmetros de análise que são comumente de duvidosa qualidade. Contudo, constata-se algumas das peculiaridades que regem os países classificados como subdesenvolvidos: o mercado é amparado pela piedade do Estado. O Haiti, que sofre com a devastação completa de suas estruturas básicas após os recentes acontecimentos, segue o caminho do qual o Brasil insiste abraçar: as semelhanças são evidentes e, não obstante, caracteristicamente assistencialistas.

Eis alguns trechos:

The overall freedom to conduct a business is severely impeded by Haiti’s burdensome regulatory environment. Starting a business takes an average of 195 days, compared to the world average of 38 days. Obtaining a business license takes about five times longer than the world average of 234 days.

Haiti’s simple average tariff rate was 2.8 percent in 2006. Import controls, import quotas on some food products, some import licensing requirements, inadequate trade capacity and infrastructure, inefficient port administration, and customs corruption add to the cost of trade. Fifteen points were deducted from Haiti’s trade freedom score to account for non-tariff barriers.

Haiti has high taxes. The top income tax rate is 30 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a capital gains tax. Fiscal reform was abandoned when an incoming loan was diverted for other uses. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 9.4 percent.

Inflation is high, averaging 11.0 percent between 2005 and 2007. Prices are generally determined by the market, but the government restricts markups of some products (retailers, for example, may not mark up pharmaceutical products by more than 40 percent) and strictly controls the prices of petroleum products. Ten points were deducted from Haiti’s monetary freedom score to adjust for measures that distort domestic prices.

Authorization is required for some foreign investments, particularly in electricity, water, public health, and telecommunications. The government has expressed interest in liberalizing aspects of the investment regime, such as telecommunications and energy, but there has been little progress. Inadequate regulatory capacity, corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, and political instability deter investment. Residents may hold foreign exchange accounts for specified purposes, and non-residents may hold them without restriction. There are no restrictions on payments, transfers, or capital transactions. Foreign ownership of land is restricted.

[…] New banking legislation that was submitted for parliamentary approval in mid-2007 was intended to strengthen the current framework for bank supervision. Capital markets are poorly developed.

Protection of investors and property is severely compromised by weak enforcement, a paucity of updated laws to handle modern commercial practices, and a dysfunctional and resource-poor legal system. Litigants are often frustrated by the legal process, and most commercial disputes are settled out of court if at all. Widespread corruption allows disputing parties to purchase favorable outcomes. Despite statutes protecting intellectual property, the weak judiciary and a lack of political will hinder enforcement.

Haiti’s relatively restrictive labor regulations hinder employment and productivity growth. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is moderate, but dismissing a redundant employee is relatively costly. Restrictions on the number of work hours are not flexible.