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Asian nations among world's most corrupt

The world's most impoverished countries, including Bangladesh, had the highest levels of perceived corruption  

HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- Bangladesh and Indonesia are ranked among the world's most corrupt countries, according to an annual survey by German-based Transparency International.

In the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand and Singapore were amongst the least corrupt countries while Australia, Hong Kong and Japan also had low levels of perceived corruption.

At the other end of the scale, Bangladesh and Indonesia were joined by Vietnam, Pakistan, the Philippines and India as being considered highly corrupt.

Covering 102 nations, the Corruption Perceptions Index claims to "reflect perceived levels of corruption among politicians and public officials."

It is based on 15 surveys from nine institutions and includes the perceptions of country analysts and the business community both resident and expatriate.

Poorest nations most corrupt

Bangladesh (1.2) 
Nigeria (1.6) 
Paraguay (1.7) 
Madagascar (1.7) 
Angola (1.7) 
Kenya (1.9) 
Indonesia (1.9) 
Azerbaijan (2.0) 
Uganda (2.1) 
Moldova (2.1) 
-- Scores out of ten 
Finland (9.7) 
Denmark (9.5) 
New Zealand (9.5) 
Iceland (9.4) 
Singapore (9.3) 
Sweden (9.3) 
Canada (9.0) 
Netherlands (9.0) 
Luxembourg (9.0) 
United Kingdom (8.7) 
Transparency International Asia
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"Corrupt political elites in the developing world, working hand-in-hand with greedy business people and unscrupulous investors, are putting private gain before the welfare of citizens and the economic development of their countries," says Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International.

Seven out of ten countries received a score lower than five out of ten in the survey. Many of those registering low scores were the world's poorest nations, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Angola.

At the other end of the scale with low levels of perceived corruption, were wealthy countries including New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark and Finland.

"Corruption is a malady not only effecting developing countries, but also the developed world," says Tunku Abdul Aziz, vice-chairman of Transparency International, in response to the high levels of perceived corruption in several EU member countries, including Italy and Greece.

Insufficient data

However, the organization emphasizes that the survey is only an overview as not all countries are included.

"There is not sufficient data on other countries, many of which are likely to be very corrupt," says Eigen.

Earlier this year, the Bribe Payers Index was released by the organization revealing high levels of bribery by firms from China, Russia, Taiwan and South Korea. Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and the United States were also ranked highly in the report.

Eigen pressed for the issues of corruption to be addressed at this week's U.N. Summit in Johannesburg, saying the effects of this year's floods and droughts have been magnified by illegal logging and deforestation.

The high-profile bankruptcies of U.S. companies, Enron and Worldcom, were also highlighted in the report as underscoring "the need for ... far reaching reforms to strengthen ethics and social responsibility in business."

Transparency International are a non-government organization, which receives funding from the private and public sector as well as philanthropic foundations.




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