Despite Reforms, Russian Firms Most Likely to Bribe

Survey names Belgium, Canada most graft-free nations
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 2:50 PM CST
Transparency International, a Berlin-based corruption watchdog, rank 22 of the world's most economically influential countries on the tendency of their firms to bribe abroad.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Russian and Chinese companies are most likely to mix business with bribes when traveling abroad, a corruption watchdog found, despite promises from their governments to root out graft. Transparency International, which said the kickback trend points to firms from emerging economic powers, cited the practice’s “damaging impact on corporate reputations and ordinary communities,” Reuters reports.

Russia’s president launched an anti-graft initiative in August, but the Kremlin’s corruption levels remain at an 8-year high—placing it below China, which promised similar reform, and India, which finished last on the 2006 index. Squeaky-clean Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands topped the list, while the US took ninth. The rankings are based on interviews with nearly 3,000 senior execs.