On This Bribery Scale, Australian Companies Are Cleanest

By John S. McClenahen Between December 2001 and March 2002, some 835 business experts in 15 emerging market countries were asked about foreign companies and the likelihood they would pay or offer bribes to gain or retain business. The results, reported by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), a global anti-corruption group, show Australian companies least likely to practice corruption and Russian firms the most likely. Also high on the list of offenders: companies from China, Taiwan and South Korea. U.S. and Japanese companies are in the middle, better behaved than Malaysian and Hong Kong companies, but not as clean as German, Singaporean and UK companies, according to TI. "Our new survey leaves no doubt that large numbers of multinational corporations from the richest nations are pursuing a criminal course to win contracts in the leading emerging market economies of the world," asserts Peter Eigen, TI's chairman.

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