November 3rd, 2011
06:10 AM GMT
(CNN) – Have you ever been shaken down for a red envelope in China or hit up for a deal "sweetener" in Russia?
Companies from these countries are most likely to engage in bribery, according to a survey released on Wednesday by corruption watchdog Transparency International.
The two countries received the lowest scores on the 2011 Bribe Payers Index, which ranked the top 28 largest economies according to the likelihood of companies headquartered in these countries practicing bribery. The scores were based on a survey of the perceptions of 3,016 business executives across 30 countries who had business dealings in those top 28 economies.
China and Russia were the only companies that scored below 7 on a scale of 10, with scores of 6.5 and 6.1, respectively. Companies based in the Netherlands and Switzerland tied for first place with scores of 8.8, with Belgium, Germany, and Japan rounding out the top five.
Rank Country Score
1 (tie) Netherlands 8.8
1 (tie) Switzerland 8.8
3 Belgium 8.7
4 (tie) Germany 8.6
4 (tie) Japan 8.6
23 (tie) Argentina 7.3
23 (tie) UAE 7.3
25 Indonesia 7.1
26 Mexico 7.0
27 China 6.5
28 Russia 6.1
The report said Russia’s poor score was “not of any surprise since Russia in general is still struggling to find the proper way to confront systemic corruption. It would be strange to expect business to do better than public office does.” At the same time, it expressed hope for the strict enforcement of national anti-corruption legislation passed in May that criminalized foreign bribery and introduced monetary sanctions for companies and individuals.
Similarly for China, the report said there were “tremendous challenges ahead and bottlenecks that need to be cleared,” but noted an amendment of the Chinese penal code in May that criminalized bribery of foreign government officials and authorized detention of implicated companies and individuals.
The survey also ranked the business sectors in which bribery was perceived most likely to be used. Public works and construction were reported to be the rifest with bribery, whereas agricultural and light manufacturing were the sectors perceived as the cleanest.
The report noted that “there is no country among the 28 major economics whose companies are perceived to be wholly clean and do not engage in bribery. ” As well, the scores on average have not significantly improved since the last Bribe Payers Index, which was compiled in 2008. Of the 28 countries ranked this year, 22 were also ranked in the 2008 edition. The average score of these 22 countries increased only 0.1 points to 7.9 in the latest edition.
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