Los Angeles, CA – Corruption in trade “is undermining global development as contracts don’t go to the best suppliers, prices are being inflated to cover bribe payments, environmental requirements are not being enforced and taxes are not being collected,” says Germany-based Transparency International (TI).
As a result, it said, “the convention’s fundamental goal of creating a corruption-free level playing field for global trade is still far from being achieved.”
According to the anti-corruption watchdog says 22 countries exerted “little or no” energy in enforcing international anti-bribery laws last year.
According to TI, those countries involved account for 27 percent of world exports and almost 90 per cent of total foreign direct investment outflows.
The non-governmental government (NGO) said only four OECD countries were actively enforcing the anti-bribery convention – Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Among those with little or no enforcement, TI said, were Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Denmark, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Chile and Israel.
Others, including France, Sweden, South Africa and New Zealand, were chided for exerting only “limited” enforcement of the convention.
The binding, international Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions was enacted by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1997.
Widely seen as an important instrument in the drive to curb global corruption, the treaty requires the 41 signatory countries to make foreign bribery a crime for which individuals and enterprises can be made responsible.
TI annually assesses compliance with an anti-bribery convention signed by 41 countries that prohibits bribes to win contracts, or dodge taxes and local laws.
The agency urged the world’s exporting countries to take a “tougher stance on bribery and provide adequate support, including staffing and funding for enforcement with rigorous OECD monitoring.”