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Leading export nations fail to enforce foreign bribery rules

Some leading member nations of the G20 are still non compliant with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention according to a new report from Transparency International (TI).

The anti-corruption group highlights 20 countries, including G20 members Brazil, Japan, South Korea and The Netherlands, that have done little or nothing to hold companies and businesspeople to account for bribing foreign governments. Indeed, 23 countries have not brought any criminal charges for major cross-border corruption by companies in the last four years.

According to the report, Exporting Corruption – OECD Progress Report 2013, 30 of the 40 countries signed up to the convention are barely investigating and prosecuting foreign bribery, considering the large value of their exports.

“The 40 countries, which represent more than two thirds of global exports, would make it very hard to get away with bribery if they lived up to the requirements of the OECD anti-bribery convention,” said Huguette Labelle, TI’s chair.

Countries fail to enforce foreign bribery rules for several reasons, maintains the report: budget cuts in enforcement agencies, a lack of specialised bodies to investigate foreign bribery and a failure to take advantage of existing deterrents.

Only eight countries have met their commitments under the Convention and TI warns that the failure of so many countries to crack down on companies that bribe foreign governments may imperil the 1997 agreement.

The report also calls for major exporters China, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia to sign the OECD convention.

“It is especially important these economies meet their G20 commitments and ensure that their companies, which have increasing influence overseas, operate cleanly,” said Labelle.

Picture credit: © Liz Van Steenburgh | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Global | Bribery

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