Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Vietnam falls in corruption perception index 2007


09:46' 28/09/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - The corruption perception index (CPI) of Vietnam 2007 remains at 2.6/10 points but its position falls from 111th in 2006 to 123rd this year.

Vietnam’s corruption perception index compared with other Southeast Asian nations.

Vietnam’s corruption perception index compared with other Southeast Asian nations.

The Transparency International (IT) on September 26 announced the CPI 2007 of 180 countries and territories.

The CPI, announced annually since 1995, focuses on corruption in the public sector and defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain. The surveys used in compiling the CPI ask questions that relate to the misuse of public power for private benefit, for example bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength of anti-corruption policies, thereby encompassing both administrative and political corruption.

The 2007 CPI draws on 14 different polls and surveys from 12 independent institutions, including the World Bank, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, the World Economic Forum among others. It evaluates countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption. For Vietnam, TI used nine sources of information.

According to this year’s CPI, the divide between perceived levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever. A strong correlation between corruption and poverty continues to be evident. Forty percent of those scoring below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant, are classified by the World Bank as low income countries.

Somalia and Myanmar share the lowest score of 1.4, while Denmark has edged up to share the top score of 9.4 with perennial high-flyers Finland and New Zealand.

Scores are significantly higher in several African countries in the 2007 CPI. These include Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland.

Other countries with a significant improvement include Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Suriname. Countries with a significant increase in perceived levels of corruption in 2007 include Austria, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Jordan, Laos, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

In Southeast Asia, the ranking doesn’t change this year. Singapore still tops the list with 9.3 points, ranking fourth worldwide, up by one grade compared to 2006. However, all other countries in the region fall in ranking, especially Thailand, from 3.6 to 3.3 points and from 63rd to 84th.

Vietnam’s CPI

Vietnam has been named on TI’s CPI ranking list since 1997. For the past four years, the country’s points have remained at 2.6/10 points.

Vietnam’s CPI from 2000 to 2007

Year

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Point

2.5

2.6

2.4

2.4

2.6

2.6

2.6

2.6

Ranking

76

75

85

100

102

107

111

123

Total number of countries

90

91

102

133

146

159

163

180

Of the 23 new countries added to the ranking list in 2007, ten rank above Vietnam. Thus, without these newcomers, Vietnam’s position is still two grades lower than last year.

Though Vietnam doesn’t lose points, it loses ranking, which means that other countries are successful in fighting corruption in the eyes of the international community, not Vietnam.

In recent years, along with the issuance of the anti-corruption and anti-waste laws, various anti-corruption campaigns have been launched. However, the effort has been just enough to maintain the points, not enough to maintain the ranking.

TI’s comment that poorer countries have higher corruption ratios is accurate in the case of Vietnam. Of 229 countries and territories, Vietnam now ranks 158th in per capita income. Of 180 countries and territories, Vietnam ranks 123rd in corruption.

In recent years, Vietnam has been among countries with the highest growth rate in the world and its ranking for per capita income has increased. However, its corruption ranking has gone down.

TI commented that in 2007 international integration creates conditions for corruption, including the sources of spending for corruption from multinational groups and especially, financial integration creates favourable conditions for laundering. Though TI doesn’t quote Vietnam as an example, the increasing integration of Vietnam in recent years can be suitable for that observation.

Anti-corruption tasks are now key tasks of the country. The evaluation of TI, though it is a ‘perception’, is the view of an outsider, which shows how Vietnam is seen by the international community.

Bui Van