About two dozen countries accounting for almost half of global exports impose "little or no enforcement" of foreign bribery laws, Transparency International report. The world's top exporter received particular criticism.
Countries that account for nearly 40 percent of global exports fail to enforce laws and conventions against bribery, anti-corruption group Transparency International (TI) said in report on Wednesday.
The Berlin-based watchdog assessed enforcement of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention, which commits signatories to criminalize bribery of foreign officials.
The report focused on 44 countries that account for 65 percent of world exports and found:
China singled out
China accounts for 10.8 percent of global exports, but was at the lowest level of enforcing foreign anti-bribery commitments. The authors of the report said that as the world's largest exporter China had a "special responsibility."
"China's performance regarding international anti-corruption standards influences attitudes and behaviour in other major exporting countries," the report stated.
China, India, Singapore and Hong Kong are not parties to the OECD convention, but have signed the UN Convention on Corruption.
"It is unacceptable that so much of world trade is susceptible to consequence-free corruption," said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. "Governments have promised to implement and enforce laws against bribing foreign officials under the OECD and UN conventions. Yet many are not even investigating major cases of grand corruption, which involve state-owned enterprises and senior politicians. These have an especially corrosive effect, and ultimately impact the ordinary citizens of the country the hardest."
cw/rt (AFP, AP, dpa)