Mr. Rott presented a correlation between countries
competitiveness and corruption. Corruption is one of the
main, out of the many, factors suffocating emerging
economies. Its negative impact on competitiveness clearly
shows when comparing a ranking of countries according to
their competitiveness to that according to their corruption
perceptivity. Four groups of countries may be described:
- highly competitive clean countries (including
- medium to low competitive less clean and rather
- uncompetitive rather corrupt and corrupt countries
(including Czech Republic)
- uncompetitive corrupt countries.
Everyone doing business in a corrupt country may easily
assess the costs of corruption, often allowing for such
provisions in company's consolidated accounting data. Almost
every Swiss company encountered corruption – and bowed
to it in the Czech Republic – in the Swiss "pragmatic"
But a new Swiss awareness is emerging – that
businesses should try to apply cleaner principles and that
it well may pay, after some efforts.
As long as the corruption costs remain hidden in company
internal data, the benefits cannot be demonstrated to anyone
– the public, politicians, economists, academics. The
statisticians efforts to measure "hidden" or "shadow"
economy, cannot lead alone to any progress. Businesses –
meaning first of all those with both economic power and
knowledge of clean ways how to do business – must act.
A "coming-out" is necessary, and possible. Yet most Swiss
businesses still grossly underestimate their power and
impact they may, and should, have on Czech politics –
such as actively pursuing, promoting, pressing and pushing
for the recovery and implementation of sound social values
and of functioning legal and political systems.
"Corruption tax" is being collected with a high effectivity,
the Czech tax authorities may only dream of. An assessment –
rather low – of this "tax" in the Czech national
accounts and data clearly shows the potential of impressive
lowering of taxes in a more open, transparent and cleaner
economy than in that which many think to have to preserve
today. Moreover, this "corruption tax" flows into hiding,
off-shore. A vast investment lost, badly needed for the
recovery of Czech economy.
Who pays the "corruption tax"? Everybody does: the small,
the big, the rich, the poor, now. And for some time in the
Everybody knows these days. But taking part in your own
things – at last – still must be learned.
The information society must lead to an acting society in
the Czech Republic as well. Knowledge is one thing, acting
according to it the next – both skills are still
underdeveloped in the Czech Republic.
The feeling of suffocated chances for the few skilled leads
to cash drain, brain drain, people drain. Perhaps a chance –
it seems to be the only one in sight – for the Czech
society and economy is that they will be "forced" into more
developed world. But is (economic) power identical with
The conflicts of opening are being avoided, and so is the
way from a close to an open society, with their benefits and
some pains. Classical Popper! And classical is his
description – over half a century old – why we
do so little. Why we may choose to, prefer to do so
(PDF, 170kb – excerpt from the report,
pages 22 to 27)
(PDF, 640kb – 31 pages, presentations and speaches)
(report by TI-CZ of June 1999)