Indonesia and Thailand are perceived as Asia’s most corrupt economies, with last year’s cellar-dweller the Philippines making a marked improvement, an annual survey of foreign business executives that places India on fourth place showed on Wednesday.
Singapore and Hong Kong retained their top two rankings as the region’s least corrupt economies, although there are concerns about private-sector fraud, according to the survey by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), made available to AFP.
Thailand was seen as the second most corrupt country with a grade of 7.63, but PERC said foreign investors were more concerned about political stability.
Cambodia was seen as the third most corrupt country with a score of 7.25, followed by India with 7.21 and Vietnam with 7.11.
Despite the negative perception of Indonesia, PERC noted “there has been a real headway in fighting the problem” under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is seeking re-election in presidential polls in July.
“To be sure, the absolute scores show corruption in the public and private sectors is still very high,” PERC said.
The March results are based on more than 1,700 responses from 14 Asian economies plus Australia and the United States, which were included for comparison purposes, PERC said.
In a grading system with zero as the best possible score and 10 the worst, Indonesia got 8.32.