TI Index: Corruption still high in Asia

China and India score below average on the 2013 corruption index.

New Zealand is one of the world’s least corrupt countries and Myanmar is one of the world’s most corrupt, according to the recently released Transparency International Corruptions Perception Index 2013.

The yearly index scores countries from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Among Asia-Pacific countries, New Zealand, with a score of 91, was tied for first place with Denmark.

Top quartile countries in the region were Singapore (86), Australia (81), Hong Kong (75), Japan (74) and Taiwan (61).

Nine regional countries scored at or above the average of 50. Twelve Asian countries, including China (40) and India (36), had scores below 50, “indicating a serious corruption problem”, according to TI.

This year’s ranking of Asian countries was only slightly different than TI’s 2012 rankings. The major movers this year were Myanmar, which rose 15 places and improved its score to 21 from 15, while Cambodia fell three places.

In other major emerging markets, corruption scores did not significantly deviate from last year’s index. Brazil’s score increased by one point, up to 43, as did South American neighbors Chile who’s score totaled 72. Mexico’s score remained at 34, while Russia remained low on the corruption index with a score of 28.

TI bases the annual CPI on “experts’ opinions of public sector corruption”.
Countries with access to information and rules governing the behavior of public officials can improve perception, while a lack of accountability and ineffective public institutions has the opposite effect, according to the organization.