12/03/2013, 00.00
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Most corrupt countries in the world found in Asia and Middle East

Findings are based on the Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Syria are among the top 10 "worst" nations. Political instability and civil war favour corruption. The only Asian countries to be among the most transparent nations are Singapore and Hong Kong.

Pyongyang (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Six Asian nations are among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world, this according to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation that monitors corporate and political corruption in international development.

The report ranks countries according to a point index score, from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 highly transparent), based on perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by country analysts and business people. North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Syria all have a score lower than 20.

Somalia is the most corrupt country in absolute terms, with a score of 8 on a par with North Korea and Afghanistan, closely followed by Sudan (11), South Sudan (14), Libya (15), Iraq (16) and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Syria, all with 17 points.

According to the organisation, instability due to civil wars or regimes not "functioning effectively" boost corruption in these countries.

"Corruption is very much linked to countries that fall apart, as you see in Libya, Syria," said Finn Heinrich, research director at Transparency International. "These are not countries where the government is functioning effectively, and people have to take all means in order to get by, to get services, to get food, to survive."

Meanwhile, Scandinavian countries are among the top 10 ranked nations, including Denmark, which is in first place at 91, tied with New Zealand, followed by Finland and Sweden (89) and Norway (86).

Singapore is the only Asian nation in the top 10, in sixth place with 86 points. Hong Kong is further down, in 15th place with 75 points.

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