Private firms bribe state-owned companies to get contracts: survey

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The 12th Anti-Corruption Dialogue Roundtable Workshop held in Hanoi

Sixty-eight percent of Vietnam's private enterprises say they have to offer bribes to get contracts with state-owned enterprises.

The figure is mentioned in the resutls of a survey conducted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau under the Government's Inspectorate.

The survey resluts were released at the 12th Anti-Corruption Dialogue Roundtable Workshop held in Hanoi on October 30 and 31, news website thoibaokinhtesaigon reported Wednesday.

The survey covered more than 800 individuals from 232 enterprises in five different regions in Vietnam.

Private firms have to spend money to deal with the demands of state-owned officials who take a lot of time to finish a contract, not explaining clearly the whole process or even subverting the process and blaming it on the firms, the survey found.

Eighty percent of the staff in the private companies said giving bribes to state-owned enterprises is a "very normal" practice.

The report also said that leaders and managers of state-owned firms even fix their own "price" for the contract .

Eighty-one percent of the surveyed enterprises said corruption costs them a lot of time, raises their projects' expenses and makes them angry.

Most of them consider corruption  the second biggest problem after the high cost of living, said Tran Duc Luong, deputy head of the Government's Inspectorate.

Sixty percent of the firms said the money they spent on bribes was "costly" and 57 percent said it created an unfair market environment among enterprises, where some were able to get contracts with state-owned firms and others could not.

However, according to a survey conducted last year by the Government Inspectorate and the World Bank, only 30 percent of the corruption happened at the request of state-owned enterprises and the rest was done voluntarily by the private firms themselves.

"It proves that private firms are both the cause and victims of corruption," said Luong.

British Ambassador to Vietnam, Antony Stokes, called for private firms to co-operate with each other in fighting corruption.

The 12th Anti-Corruption Dialogue Roundtable Workshop is being held in  preparation for the 12th anti-corruption dialogue between the Vietnamese government and foreign investors, set to take place on November 12.

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