7 March 2017: 900 million people are paying bribes: bribery in Asia Pacific huge challenge for Australian business

Approximately 900 million — or just over one in four — people living in 16 countries in Asia Pacific, including some of its biggest economies are estimated to have paid a bribe to access public services, according to a new public opinion poll from the anti-corruption movement Transparency International.

Transparency International spoke to nearly 22,000 people about their recent experiences with corruption for People and Corruption: Asia Pacific, part of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) series.

Only one in five people surveyed thought the level of corruption had decreased, while half of people polled said their government was doing a bad job fighting corruption.

Transparency International Australia (TI Australia) Chairman Anthony Whealy QC said “These levels of bribery are right on Australia’s backdoor and pose a serious issue for Australian businesses. As we work to negotiate new bilateral trade agreements in our region, the GCB results underline the risks for Australian companies in doing business.”

“The Australian Government must continue to support Governments in the region to strengthen corruption prevention efforts while encouraging companies to strengthen their anti-corruption policies and systems.”

On March 16-17 TI Australia is co-hosting the National Integrity conference with Griffith University’s Centre for Governance & Public Policy which will consider the GCB results.

Mr Whealy said “Government and business need to take these results seriously. At the National Integrity Summit next week speakers from government and business will come together to look at how we build trust in Australian businesses and establish strong and effective ethical frameworks.  BHP Billiton’s James Ensor will discuss his company’s need to know the real owners of companies with whom they do business, underlining the importance of establishing a register of beneficial ownership.”

The National Integrity Conference comes at a critical time as Australian businesses, big and small, look to expand their operations and networks throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Special guest Natalia Soebagjo, chair of Transparency International Indonesia, is also attending the conference as a special guest of the Griffith Asia Institute, and will officially launch the report on 15 March.

National Integrity 2017 is being co-hosted by Griffith University’s Centre for Governance & Public Policy, in Brisbane on 16-17 March.  Click here for Conference papers.

Media Contacts:

Hon. Anthony Whealy QC, TI Australia Chair:
0414 963 643

Professor A J Brown, Griffith University and TI Australia board member:
0414 782 331

 Background Notes:

Global Corruption Barometer 2016/2017

 The world’s largest survey of public opinion and experience with respect to corruption:


Asia Pacific Report

  • 16 Countries
  • Survey Fieldwork conducted July 2015 – November 2016
  • Face to face or Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews of representative samples of 1000-1500 citizens, conducted by Cvoter International, Efficience3, Asian Barometer Surveys,  Business Insights and Solutions, Taiwan Real Survey Ltd or TNS
  • Report released March 2017
  • People and Corruption: Asia Pacific


  • Survey fieldwork conducted 6 September to 12 October 2016
  • Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews of representative sample of 1002 citizens, conducted by Action Mark Research (Adelaide) for Efficience3
  • Full results formally launched at National Integrity 2017
  • Face to face or Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews of representative samples of 1000-4000 citizens, conducted between January 2016 and January 2017