Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed grave concern over the failure of leading foreign trade partners of Bangladesh in taking steps on foreign bribery.
Referring to a Transparency International (TI) report titled "Exporting Corruption 2020: Assessing Enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention", launched globally yesterday, TIB alerted the government saying the failure of foreign trade partners is causing huge financial loss to the country.
TIB has also called upon foreign trade partner countries to strengthen laws and enforcement systems.
By definition, foreign bribery includes providing or offering a benefit to a foreign public official, or causing a benefit to be provided to a foreign public official, where the benefit is not legitimately due.
The report finds enforcement against foreign bribery shockingly low among half of G20 countries. It says that fewer of the world's biggest exporters are actively investigating and punishing companies paying bribes abroad.
The study, "Exporting Corruption 2020", conducted bi-annually by the TI Secretariat in Berlin, finds that active enforcement against foreign bribery significantly decreased since 2018.
Only four out of 47 countries, which make up 16.5 percent of global exports, actively enforced legislation against foreign bribery, compared to seven countries and 27 percent of global exports in 2018.
In fact, most countries, 34 out of 47, covered by the study, conducted practically no enforcement of their relevant laws.
Poorest performers include China, Japan, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, the Netherlands, Canada and Mexico, many of whom are Bangladesh's largest trade and investment partners.
China, the world's largest exporter, failed to open a single investigation into foreign bribery between 2016 and 2019, though Chinese companies have been allegedly involved in multiple scandals and investigations by other countries.
Two other major exporters -- Hong Kong and India -- did not open a single foreign bribery investigation from 2016 to 2019.
Singapore opened only one investigation and concluded one case with sanctions during the past four years.
In a statement, Executive Director of TIB Iftekharuzzaman said, "It is shocking that the biggest global exporters are showing the worst track records of compliance to their own pledges against foreign bribery."
"We are alerting our government, foreign trade entities and other stakeholders to take rigorous corruption prevention measures in foreign trade and investment," he said, drawing attention of diplomatic missions and other representatives of the relevant countries for taking concrete actions against foreign bribery.