Click here to read the full Client Advisory by Steptoe.

On January 23, 2020, Transparency International published its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),  which measures perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries. Viewed together with the 2019 TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix,  which also includes private sector corruption, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region overall remains generally high risk for bribery and corruption relative to other parts of the globe, with some notable exceptions.

APAC countries that have historically ranked highly (e.g., New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan) continued to do so, with some demonstrating slight improvements in their CPI scores. Historically underperforming countries (e.g., Cambodia, North Korea, and Afghanistan) also remained in place, with no significant improvements. Gains in South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China were offset by declines in India, Mongolia, and the Philippines.

The CPI and TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix provide a largely consistent and useful point of reference for companies performing “risk-based” transactional and customer due diligence in APAC. However, there are some differences between the two which require a deeper dive into the analysis underlying the rankings.

For more information on how the 2019 rankings can help with risk-based due diligence, read the full Client Advisory.