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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Singapore still ranked as least corrupt in Asia - ST

March 11, 2008
Singapore still ranked as least corrupt in Asia
The Philippines and Thailand seen as most graft-ridden in survey of expats
By Goh Chin Lian

THE Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (Perc) expects corruption to emerge as a hot-button issue in Asia this year as slowing growth, rising food prices and political campaigns feed a groundswell against graft.

But Singapore is unlikely to be tainted as expatriates surveyed by the Hong Kong-based group once again rank it the least corrupt economy in the region.

The annual survey also rated Hong Kong and Japan highly among 13 Asian economies.

The Philippines was deemed the most corrupt for the second consecutive year.

Thailand, China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam fared poorly too.

The 1,400 expatriates surveyed in January and February this year were asked to grade the extent that corruption detracts from the attractiveness of the business environment they work in.

Singapore scored with its 'no-nonsense approach to corruption', the report said.

Perc said the 100 expatriates polled here were of the view that the Singapore Government is 'doing an excellent job of keeping corruption low'.

'It is not excessively bureaucratic and does not impose onerous compliance costs, but it is strict about regulations and thorough in its monitoring,' the report said.

Perc highlighted the integrity of the public sector as a factor that impresses foreign investors.

It said the lack of corruption also enhances the Republic's credentials as a business and financial centre.

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