Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Russian firms 'lead bribe list'

US dollars being counted
Britain was ranked fifth best in the survey

Companies from emerging economies such as Russia and China are more likely to pay bribes when doing business in other countries, a survey claims.

Anti-corruption body Transparency International interviewed 2,742 senior business executives to see which firms would pay bribes in foreign countries.

Russia, China, Mexico, India, Brazil and Italy were the worst of the 22 major economies ranked in the survey.

Firms from Belgium and Canada were seen as least likely to pay bribes.

Countries whose firms are least prepared to pay bribes:
Belgium
Canada
Netherlands
Switzerland
Germany
Japan
UK
Countries whose firms are most prepared to pay bribes:
Russia
China
Mexico
India
Brazil
Italy
Source: Transparency International

The US was ranked ninth, while Britain, Germany and Japan were in joint fifth place.

In the previous Bribe Payers Index (BPI), published in 2006, India was named as the worst, followed by China and Russia, while Switzerland, Sweden and Australia got the highest scores.

"The BPI provide 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," Transparency International's Huguette Labelle said in a statement.

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

In July, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described corruption in his country as a threat to national security.



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