A survey released Dec. 6 by a U.S.-based anti-bribery organization calls New Zealand the least-risky country in the world to do business.
The new edition of Trace International’s Bribery Risk Matrix graded 200 countries, using data aggregated from the United Nations, World Bank and World Economic Forum, and found 82 countries were moderate risk, 59 high risk and eight very high risk.
Trace found New Zealand had a total risk score of 5, while the worst, Somalia, had a 92 score. By domain, the best countries were New Zealand (opportunity for business interactions with government), Luxembourg (anti-bribery deterrence and enforcement), Sweden (government and civil service transparency) and Denmark (capacity for civil society oversight).
Canada was ninth with a 15 risk score. Also in the top 10 were Sweden (2), Norway (3), Denmark (4), Finland (5), Netherlands (6), United Kingdom (7), Germany (8) and Iceland (10). Other notable jurisdictions included Hong Kong (14), Australia (16), U.S. (18), Ireland (19), Japan (26), Russia (108) and China (151).
Europe was judged the least-risky continent, with a 32 average score. Africa was the riskiest, at 62. The average global score was 50.
The matrix ranks countries on four domains and nine subdomains and addresses the risk that companies will be asked for bribes within each country, rather than the conduct of the companies or citizens.
“The Trace Bribery Risk Matrix addresses an ongoing concern for companies doing business internationally: the possibility of being asked for a bribe by a foreign public official,” according to the organization. “Such a scenario can arise in countless ways, and the risk of it happening is affected by myriad factors. Confronting this complexity requires marshalling information about multiple facets of any prospective or ongoing business venture, including the people involved, the dynamics of the industry, and the degree of bribery risk specific to a given market, region, or country.”
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