Bribing public officials when doing business abroad is a regular occurrence, according to a survey of 3,000 business executives from developed and developing countries.
Transparency International’s 2011 Bribe Payers Index, released today, ranks 28 leading international and regional exporting countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. Companies from Russia and China, who invested US $120 billion overseas in 2010, are seen as most likely to pay bribes abroad. Companies from the Netherlands and Switzerland are seen as least likely to bribe (see Results).
Addressing foreign bribery is a priority issue for the international community. A year ago the group of 20 leading economies (G20) committed to tackling foreign bribery by launching an anti-corruption action plan. The progress report of the working group monitoring the action plan, which G20 leaders are expected to approve at tomorrow’s Cannes summit, will recognise steps taken by G20 countries China, Russia, Indonesia and India in criminalising foreign bribery. Transparency International welcomes the report and calls for swift implementation of the further anti-corruption measures that it calls for.
“In their meeting in Cannes this week, G20 governments must tackle foreign bribery as a matter of urgency. New legislation in G20 countries is an opportunity to provide a fairer, more open global economy that creates the conditions for sustainable recovery and the stability of future growth. Governments can press home the advances made by putting resources behind investigations and prosecutions of foreign bribery, so that there is a very real deterrent to unethical and illegal behaviour,” said Transparency International Chair, Huguette Labelle.