A Esperança dos Recursos Naturais

WASHINGTON, DC – Quando um país quadruplica a sua receita fiscal num único ano, é um caso digno de nota. Foi essa a escala do aumento de receitas conseguido pelo Gana entre 2010 e 2011, devido a recebimentos provenientes das suas indústrias extractivas.

O Gana não está só. As crescentes receitas fiscais dos países em desenvolvimento ricos em recursos naturais reflectem não apenas os preços mais elevados das matérias-primas, mas também as regras internacionais que melhoraram a transparência financeira nas indústrias do petróleo, do gás, e mineiras, reduzindo significativamente as oportunidades de evasão fiscal. Tais regras estiveram também em destaque na agenda da recente Cimeira do G-8 na Irlanda do Norte. É importante reconhecer estes esforços – e exigir mais.

Os mercados internacionais de matérias-primas estão sob pressão. Desde 2000, os preços apresentaram uma trajectória ascendente, com uma elevada procura apenas e brevemente interrompida pela crise financeira de 2008. Uma consequência aparente é a extrema volatilidade dos preços. Simultaneamente, os incentivos para entrar em mercados ilegais tornam-se mais fortes: perto de 20% do mercado mundial de coltan – um metal precioso usado nas comunicações móveis – é comercializado ilegalmente.

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