Foreign bribery is not an abstract phenomenon; it has damaging consequences in the form of contracts not going to the best qualified suppliers, prices often being inflated to cover bribe payments, environmental requirements not being enforced and taxes not being collected.
Sixteen years after the OECD Convention on Combating Foreign Bribery entered into force, there are still 20 countries with Little or No Enforcement and nine countries with only Limited Enforcement. About half of the Convention countries have failed to prosecute any foreign bribery case since they joined the Convention. The inaction of these countries violates their obligations under the Convention. As a result, the Convention’s fundamental goal of creating a corruption-free level playing field for global trade is still far from being achieved.
There are a few improvements, but the performance of the majority of the 41 countries that agree to combat foreign bribery in international business transactions is far from satisfactory. Only four countries improved since last year – Greece, Netherlands, Norway and South Korea. Argentina was the one country that regressed. The classification of other countries has not changed.
Press release: 20 August 2015, '20 major exporting countries violate international law obligations'
Enforcement levels: overview
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Iceland could not be classified as its share in world exports is too small to permit distinctions to be made between enforcement categories. The same applies to Latvia because of its small share in world exports and the short time since it joined the Convention.