Nowadays, risks on international arena are growing in a very sophisticated fashion for companies going abroad and investing in other countries. Corruption appears to be one of the ever increasing risky areas for investors for a number of reasons, but mainly due to developments in the legislative framework both at international and national levels and increasing number of effective regulatory bodies.

Even though there can be realistically no guarantees in total compliance against corruption risk in any of the industries in anywhere in the world, there is almost a worldwide consensus on sectors traditionally deemed to be prone to corruption. Usual suspects among the industries are not surprising to most. According to Bribery Payers Index of Transparency International (TI)[1], most corruption risky sectors in the world are, respectively, construction, real estate, oil&gas, extractive industries, energy and logistics. In the meantime, industries appear to be relatively stronger against the corruption risks are agriculture, light manifacturing, aviation, information technologies, and banking and finance.

In the meantime, OECD Report for Foreign Bribery[2] highlights more or less the same risky areas when it comes to bribery given in international transactions. Mining and extractive industries, construction, logistics, telecommunication and general manufacturing seem to be industries contributing most to the corrupt deals in the world. The bribery given in these sectors amounts to ¾ of the total corruption involved in worldwide.

Turkey, G-20 country with high number of youth population, once featured in BRIC-T among emerging countries, has generally conducted poorly on various indexes measuring corruption. Showing dramatic decline in Corruption Perception Index (CPI)[3] of TI for the last five years, Turkey is one of the countries whose fight against corruption has been chronically weak.

Research conducted by TI-Turkey on companies registered in Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST)[4] highlights the low level of compliance of transparent corporate reporting for fight against the corruption among top 100 companies. While worldwide average is 70%, average score of top 100 BIST Companies is 28%, which points out a considerable weakness for Turkish companies. The companies relatively scored better in the research are in the regulated sectors, i.e. banking and finance, on the other hand worst perforing companies are on constructions and real estate areas.

Moreover, the research conducted by TUSIAD[5] also indicates the similar results when it comes to corruption prone industries. According to TUSIAD Report, the industries perceived as most corrupted are construction, tourism and accommodation, logistics and general manufacturing. One of the interesting factors that this research reveals is that the construction sector itself does not appear to perceive the corruption as a problem. This, in fact, on its own proves the low awareness of the issue as well as the serious risks in this area. The common belief in Turkey is that construction sector is not alone in the low self awareness of the corruption risks in private sector companies.

When it comes to investment decisions, high ranking of corruption perception at country level is obviously the main indication for corporates and setting adequate control points in those countries accordingly will have to be carefully considered. In the meantime, it is clear that the risky industries should be added as another level of control point for decision making process as well as for meticulously planning throughout the daily operation.

[1] Transparency International (2011) Bribe Payers Index 2011

[2] OECD (2014) Phase 3 Report on Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Turkey http://www.

[5] TUSIAD (2014) The Perception of Corruption in Turkey: A Business Perspective vents/item/8327-the-perception-of-corruption-in-turkey-a-business-perspective-seminar

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