As we hit the 100 day mark – 100 days before the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics there were multiple articles about the state of readiness of the venues and the city that will host the upcoming games. One topic that caught my eye was the mention of corruption in two interesting articles that I read. (See Anne Jois's , "The Putin Olympics" in the Wall St. Journal and the Los Angeles Times article by David Wharton and Sergi Loiko “2014 Winter Olympics: Where Things Stand 100 days before the Sochi Games". The latter included a statement from an opposition leader that estimated the cost of corruption to be as high as $35 billion of the record setting budget indicated to exceed $50 billion. Astonishing numbers.
Reading these articles reminded me yet again that when considering a new market it useful to research the perceived level of corruption. How much are special payments, special favors endemic in the business environment?
One way to obtain a sense of the issue is to review the most current Corruption Perception Index (cpi.transparency.org) An annual report created by Transparency International (transparency.org) the report ranks the perceived corruption in countries around the world.
The 2012 report covered 176 countries and territories ranking them from least corrupt to most corrupt. Who topped the list at most “clean”? Denmark, Finland, New Zealand tied at #1. At the bottom of the list another tie: Iran, North Korea, Somalis, Afghanistan. To see the complete list click on the link: cpi.transparency.org
Where was Russia, the host of the upcoming Olympics? # 133 with Iran, Kazakhastan, Comoros and Honduras. The US? Alone at #19, just behind the UK and ahead of Chile and Uruguay.
Read through the report. Where is your country on this year's list?