New York: Growing momentum behind anti-bribery laws in the global trade arena has led to increase in the number of prosecutions, Transparency International said.
There were 144 new cases in 2011, taking the total number of cases prosecuted by 37 major exporters to 708 in 2011, from 564 in 2010, according to the report titled Exporting Corruption? Country Enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Progress Report 2012.
"The growing momentum behind anti-bribery enforcement is making it harder to get away with the use of graft to win business," Transparency International chair Huguette Labelle said.
The report further noted other nations with a significant share of world exports (such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan) should join the OECD Convention as soon as possible.
According to Transparency International, around 18 countries have not yet brought any criminal charges for major cross-border corruption by companies, while only seven out of 37 countries are actively enforcing bribery law.
Over 250 individuals and almost 100 companies were sanctioned as a result of foreign bribery-related cases in OECD Convention countries till the end of 2011, according to the OECD.
Around 66 people have gone to jail in those countries for the crime of bribing overseas officials in business deals.
The United States shows the highest enforcement with 275 cases completed to end 2011. Germany is the only other country to have completed more than 100 cases (176).
Japan is the biggest economy to have brought less than 10 major cases. Another big exporter, France also showed slow progress of cases initiated and lack of deterrent sanctions, according to the report.
According to a Transparency International survey, also published today, one in four business executives (27 per cent) believe bribery by a competitor resulted in direct costs to their business in the last 12 months.
Under the 1997 OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, governments are committed to making foreign bribery a crime.
Signatory countries account for two-thirds of world exports and three-quarters of foreign investment.