Corruption in China and Turkey has worsened dramatically over the past year according to the latest rankings released by Transparency International (TI).
The annual report showed an increase in corruption in some of the world’s fastest growing economies such as Turkey, China and Angola whose GDPs grew by 4 percent last year.
The anti-corruption NGO added that money laundering was the biggest barrier to economic development among the worst ranking countries.
“What is extremely important for emerging markets and developing countries is the return of laundered money which is sitting, for example, in Germany, in some bank somewhere or has been parked somewhere. These countries could put this money towards their economic development, once they have been able to get rid of their dictators,” explained Edda Mueller, head of TI in Germany, where the NGO has its headquarters.
But she went on to concede that this was easier said than done.
“Tracking money laundering and finding where it is being hidden is a very difficult area of investigation and because of this is often neglected. So, a potential criminal drug dealer, if one can catch him, will be punished but not the real criminal cause of money laundering. This is a big problem that we have to address.”
The TI annual report shows perceived levels of corruption in 175 countries, with a 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being highly clean. China ranked 80 in 2013 and has slumped to 100 in 2014.
China’s drop will come as a blow to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took office in 2012 vowing to root out graft. His anti-corruption office has fired 270,000 cadres.
Turkey dropped to 64th place. The country was struck by a corruption scandal in December last year, the worst since the AK party came to power more than ten years ago.
Denmark retains its title as the least corrupt country, while North Korea and Somalia were jointly named the most corrupt.