In 2017 and 2018 to date, there has continued to be an increasing awareness among multinational companies of the significance of anti-corruption regulations in foreign countries and the potential risks of violating these regulations or of being associated with companies or individuals that have violated such regulations.

A number of countries made significant changes to their anti-corruption regulations in 2017 and 2018 to date, including, among others, Argentina, China, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Furthermore, since the beginning of 2017, there have been other significant developments in several countries related to anti-corruption, especially with respect to enforcement, such as in Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Other countries included in this Survey have pursued proposed amendments to anti-corruption regulations, the restructuring of anti-corruption enforcement bodies and enhanced coordination with the anti-corruption authorities of other jurisdictions.

This Survey is intended to provide an overview of the complex and evolving anti-corruption regulations in the 41 countries covered herein. Ways in which this Survey may be useful will vary depending on a company’s situation and needs. A few examples follow:

  • Due diligence. This Survey may be useful to give a sense of key aspects of anti-corruption regulations that may apply to potential M&A targets and joint venture partners.
  • Prospective business partners. If a company is considering entering into a relationship with a business partner (e.g., agent, vendor or customer) from another country, this Survey may be useful in giving a sense of potential areas of risk in relation to the prospective partner’s local business activities.
  • Considering efficacy of compliance programs. This Survey may be helpful for companies in considering whether and how to develop a compliance program on a national, regional and/or global basis. In this regard, a good starting point is having an understanding of whether particular activities (for example, providing certain gifts or entertainment) could violate local regulations.