Concern over corruption in SE Asia

Singapore, June 8:

Corruption is a concern for US businesses operating in Southeast Asia, according to results of a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce Singapore released on Friday.

The survey, which polled AmCham members in six countries, showed corruption was regarded as a significant factor impacting business in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Singapore was the only country polled out of the six where corruption was regarded as a non-issue, the results showed.

“This (corruption), combined with concerns about the lack of predictability and stability in government regulations in several countries is a vital competitiveness issue which ASEAN must seriously address,” said Dom LaVigne, executive director of AmCham Singapore.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in which the six countries are members of, is a 10-nation grouping. The other four members are Brunei, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

In Indonesia, 86 per cent of AmCham members there polled felt corruption was a significant factor, in Malaysia the figure was 51 per cent, in Philippines 72 per cent, Thailand 63 per cent and in Vietnam 67 per cent. Overall, 62 per cent of those polled in the six countries also expect Southeast Asia will be more important over the next two years due mainly to the region’s continued strong economic growth, the survey showed.