Bhutan ranks 26 in Global Corruption Index and maintains same score

Bhutan experienced a decline in its ranking in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). With a score of 68, Bhutan now ranks 26th among 180 countries and territories, a drop from its previous position of 25th.

On 30 January 2024, Transparency International (TI) released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI 2023 evaluated and ranked 180 countries and territories based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption, utilizing a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents a very clean environment and 0 indicates high corruption.

This marks the first decline in Bhutan’s ranking after maintaining the 25th  position for the past two years. However, it is worth noting that Bhutan has held the sixth position in the Asia-Pacific Region for over a decade.

The report mentions that the decline in Bhutan’s ranking can be attributed to the significant improvement in the score of Barbados, which rose from 65 in 2022 to 69 in 2023.

Among countries ranked higher than Bhutan, 12 have maintained their scores, including Bhutan, while nine countries have seen a decrease of one or two points in their scores.

The report suggests that there are areas that require attention, such as labour market regulations, financial sector reforms, and improving the business regulatory environment.

Another data source, the Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, indicates that Bhutan maintains political stability and a reliable judicial system. However, the regulatory quality dimension remains low, emphasizing the need for business-friendly laws and policies.

The Bertelsmann Transformation Index shows positive trends in Bhutan’s democracy and rule of law. However, it shows challenges persisting in areas, such as political and social integration, socio-economic development, and market organization.

The Varieties of Democracy data source highlights Bhutan’s clean electoral process and efforts to combat corruption within the public sector. However, it states potential weaknesses in access to justice and accountability raise concerns.

The CPI 2023 draws attention to the correlation between corruption and injustice globally.

The report suggests recommendations such as strengthen the independence of the justice system, making justice more transparent, introducing integrity and monitoring mechanisms, promoting cooperation within the justice systems, improve access to justice and expand avenues for accountability in grand corruption cases.

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