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    Russian companies most likely to offer bribes abroad says survey

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    LONDON, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russian companies are considered the most likely to engage in bribery abroad according to the results of a survey of senior business executives released by Transparency International on Tuesday.

    The international organization, based in Berlin, asked just over 2,700 senior business executives from the world's 22 wealthiest and most economically influential countries how often, in their experience, firms headquartered in particular countries engaged in bribery.

    The 22 countries were Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    Belgium and Canada were rated the "most honest" countries in the Bribe Payer Index (BPI) with 8.8 points out a maximum of 10. Russia had 5.9 points, while the one but last place was taken by China, with 6.5.

    The most corrupt sectors were building, real estate, the oil and gas industry and the mining industry.

    Russia, India and China are among the counties which have not signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's convention against bribery.

    "The BPI provides evidence that a number of companies from major exporting countries still use bribery to win business abroad, despite awareness of its damaging impact on corporate reputations and ordinary communities," said Transparency International Chair, Huguette Labelle, in a press release.

    "The inequity and injustice that corruption causes makes it vital for governments to redouble their efforts to enforce existing laws and regulations on foreign bribery and for companies to adopt effective anti-bribery programmes. In this spirit, all major exporting countries should commit to the provisions of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention," she added.

    The survey was carried out by Gallup International for Transparency International between August 5 and October 29.

    Bribe Payers Index 2008

    1 Belgium 8.8

    1 Canada 8.8

    3 Netherlands 8.7

    3 Switzerland 8.7

    5 Germany 8.6

    5 Japan 8.6

    5 United Kingdom 8.6

    8 Australia 8.5

    9 France 8.1

    9 Singapore 8.1

    9 United States 8.1

    12 Spain 7.9

    13 Hong Kong 7.6

    14 South Africa 7.5

    14 South Korea 7.5

    14 Taiwan 7.5

    17 Brazil 7.4

    17 Italy 7.4

    19 India 6.8

    20 Mexico 6.6

    21 China 6.5

    22 Russia 5.9

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