NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Russia and China Lead in Extracting Business Bribes

May 17, 2002

Companies in Russia and China are practicing bribery "on an exceptional and intolerable scale," according to the president of Transparency International, an independent anti-corruption organization.

Using a scale of 1 to 10 -- with 1 being the country most prone to offering bribes and 10 being the least prone -- 800 business experts were asked to identify the most frequent bribe-payers.

  • Russia and China were rated 3.2 and 3.5, respectively.
  • The U.S. got a score of 5.3 -- the same as Japan.
  • The "cleanest" countries, although not perfect, were Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Canada -- with scores ranging from 8.5 to 8.1.
  • Singapore and most companies in Europe were considered less corrupt than their American counterparts.

Bribing foreigners to gain business has been unlawful in the U.S. since 1977, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Source: Barbara Crosette, "Russia and China Called Top Business Bribers," New York Times, May 17, 2002.

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