A survey by Ernst & Young (EY) about corruption, bribery and fraud in the business world ranks Croatia 16th on a list of 62 countries.

The survey covered 2,825 decision makers in large companies in 62 countries, including Croatia.

It shows that 60% of Croatian respondents believe that there is widespread bribery and corruption in business transactions.

Croatia is placed 16th of the 62 countries, while the top three positions held by Brazil (90%), Ukraine (88%) and Nigeria and Thailand (86%).

Slovenia is 26th (40%) and Serbia 23rd (48%), while the bottom of the ranking is again occupied by Scandinavian countries - Finland, which is first with 0% and Sweden, Denmark and Saudi Arabia with 4%.

The survey also shows that only 16% of Croatian respondents confirm that bribery is common in business transactions in their respective sectors. If all 62 surveyed countries are taken into account, Croatia is close to the 11% average.

The survey also shows great support for more transparency in determining the ownership structure of companies.

As many as 91% of the respondents recognise the importance of determining the real ownership structure of companies they are doing business with. In Croatia, the support is at 82%.

The need for greater transparency is due to growing geopolitical tensions and growing instability in global financial markets, said Ivan Brko of EY Croatia.

One of the survey questions concerned the work and efficiency of state agencies in prosecuting corruption. As many as 74% of Croatian respondents said they believed state agencies had the will to prosecute corruption but did not consider them to be efficient in doing so.

In that regard, Croatia is in second place, together with Portugal, while Thais have even less confidence in state agencies' efficiency in prosecuting corruption.

The survey also shows that whistle-blowers continue to be a key source of information on illegal business operations, with 55% of surveyed companies having special phone lines for whistle-blowers.

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