Corruption Challenges Index 2019 | Press Release


The Risk Advisory Group Ltd ('Risk Advisory') has released the Corruption Challenges Index 2019 - which reveals the countries and markets that pose the most, and fewest, corruption challenges for foreign investors.

VIEW corruption challenges index 2019 

Findings are based on Risk Advisory's experience of carrying out in-depth investigations and due diligence around the world during the previous year.

Key findings

  • Construction and developmentinfrastructure, and oil and gas emerge as the most challenging industry sectors from a corruption point of view globally
  • Turkmenistan remains the country where businesses face the biggest corruption challenges, followed by Libya and then Somalia
  • Europe generally performs well in the Index and dominates the list of least challenging countries. It also has the lowest average corruption challenge score
  • Africa generally performs poorly in the Index with the highest average corruption challenge score. It also claims six out of ten countries where the threat levels are highest for unstable regimes and the likelihood of encountering corruption
  • The ability to source reliable data is at its worst in TurkmenistanLibya and Somalia – marked as Opacity scores on the maps.


Key features:

  • Three interactive maps – revealing the highest and lowest threats posed (Corruption Threat), the availability of reliable information (Opacity) and the overall challenge of doing business in each country (Corruption Challenge Index score)
  • Top 3 sectors  exposed to corruption in each region and globally
  • Top 10 league tables – indicating the most and least challenging countries
  • Regional viewpoints – interpretation from our global team of experts, highlighting trends and themes

Click on the link below to view the global maps, league tables and analysis from our regional experts, to better understand the unique corruption challenges of countries. 


Key Quotes

“It remains the case, however, that the laws against corrupt activity are only as strong as the institutions and individuals whose job it is to enforce them.”
– Chris Rowley, Head of Business Intelligence & Investigations

“Targeted intelligence provides a crucial nexus between business, politics, governance and security."
– Hannah Gilkes, Head of Business Intelligence, Africa

North America
"The US and Canada remain among the ‘safest’ jurisdictions in our Index from an anti-corruption perspective. That said, petty corruption remains a concern for our clients in both countries, especially in the real estate and construction industries.”
– Thomas Smith, Head of Business Intelligence, Latin America

Latin America
“The incidence of corruption in Latin America has not lessened in the last year. The fate of countries like Venezuela continue to be dictated by widespread corruption and cronyism.”
– Eric Wheeler, Head of Business Intelligence, Latin America

"With the exception of Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, corruption is pervasive across the key growth markets favoured by foreign investors in Asia"
– Brendan McGloin, Head of Business Intelligence, Asia

"With the first successful prosecution of a company for failure to prevent bribery under section 7 of the UK Bribery Act 2010, success in changing prevailing attitudes towards corruption in Europe remains in evidence this year.”
– Ariana Issa, Head of Business Intelligence, Europe

Middle East & North Africa
"Despite major anti-corruption campaigns across the Middle East and North Africa, most challenges facing the region remain unaddressed."
– Hannah Poppy, Head of Business Intelligence, Middle East & North Africa

Russia, Eastern Europe & Eurasia
"In Russia positive developments in regulation and enforcement have caught our attention"
– Dmitry Sachkov, Head of Business Intelligence, Russia, Eastern Europe & Eurasia

Scoring and Methodology

Scoring for the Index is based on the threat of corruption, the exposure of foreign investors to it, and the availability of reliable information upon which to base integrity investigations in each country. A full methodology can be found here




For additional information or to speak to any of the Business Intelligence and Investigations, please contact in the first instance.

The Risk Advisory Group
3 More London Riverside
SE1 2AQ  |  @riskadvisory


Key referencing terminology / notes to press
“The Risk Advisory Group” in the first mention, and "Risk Advisory" thereafter.

About Business Intelligence and Investigations
Risk Advisory provides intelligence services in support of board-level decisions related to capital projects, strategic expansion, major competitive tenders and other opportunities.

We provide decision-makers with clarity and insight to enable them to make informed decisions in uncertain political, regulatory and commercial conditions.

About The Risk Advisory Group
The Risk Advisory Group is a leading independent global risk consultancy that helps businesses grow whilst protecting their people, their assets and their brands.

The Risk Advisory Group provides intelligence, investigation and security services to support organisations dealing with complex international threats. Our guidance, intelligence and analysis help many of the world’s foremost businesses negotiate challenging and uncertain environments to choose the right opportunities, in the right markets, with the right partners.

The company was founded in 1997, employs over 125 people and has offices in Washington DC, New York, London, Moscow, Dubai, Beirut and Hong Kong.

Further information is available at


About Corruption Challenges Index 2019
Risk Advisory’s Corruption Challenges Index 2019, our third edition, revealing the countries and markets that pose the most, and fewest, corruption challenges for foreign investors.

As with the 2017 and 2018 surveys, these findings are based on our experience of carrying out in-depth investigations and due diligence around the world during the previous year. Many of these investigations have focused on countries that are normally regarded as among the most difficult places to do business from a corruption threat point of view – that’s one of the reasons why our clients come to us, after all. But while a reputation for harbouring corruption is usually justified, the steps available to mitigate the risks of doing business there can often be more straightforward than many business leaders might think.

We’ve looked at a number of factors above and beyond the simple perceived local corruption threat, to give a more nuanced and balanced evaluation of where the real challenges of negotiating corruption risks lie. These factors include such things as levels of FCPA enforcement action and local industry risks, as well as how information flows affect a company’s ability to understand who exactly it’s dealing with; how media reporting can be slanted according to the publisher, for example, or the willingness of people to talk openly about the likelihood and frequency of requests for bribes.

The results of this analysis can be surprising. India, for example, which many people would agree has an endemic problem with corruption, is one of the more transparent countries for us to work in; whereas the recent introduction of GDPR on top of already stringent privacy laws in some European countries is likely to increase the challenges of both retrieving and communicating information. That’s not to say whether this is a good or bad thing, but simply that the information-gathering landscape is changing constantly; and that it helps to be able to call on experts to help navigate that landscape. I hope you enjoy reading the Corruption Challenges Index 2019.

Methodology and further information is available at:

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