Companies in emerging economies most likely to bribe: report

Companies based in emerging markets are more likely to pay bribes in order to win contracts abroad, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International said Tuesday.

It published a survey of senior executives which rated companies in Russia, China and India as the most likely to engage in bribery when conducting business overseas, dpa reported.

Belgium and Canadian firms were considered the least likely to pay bribes, according to the study.

Transparency International canvassed 2,742 senior business executives from 26 industrialized and developing companies about the tendency to pay bribes abroad.

The results were used to compile a Bribe Payers Index (BPI), which ranked 22 of the world's leading importing and exporting countries on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the cleanest countries.

Bottom of the list was Russia, with a score of 5.9, followed by China on 6.5, Mexico on 6.6 and India on 6.8. Italy was the worst- ranked European country on 7.4.

Belgium and Canada jointly topped the list on 8.8, followed by the Netherlands and Switzerland on 8.7 and Germany, Japan and Britain, all on 8.6.

"The BPI provides evidence that a number of companies from major exporting countries still use bribery to win business abroad, despite awareness of its damaging impact on corporate reputations and ordinary communities," said Transparency International chairwoman Huguette Labelle.

"The inequity and injustice that corruption causes makes it vital for governments to redouble their efforts to enforce existing laws and regulations on foreign bribery and for companies to adopt effective anti-bribery programmes," she said.

The index showed public works and construction companies to be the most corruption-prone when dealing with the public sector, and most likely to exert undue influence on the policies, decisions and practices of governments, Transparency International said.

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