Transparency International (TI) is a NGO that monitors corporate and political corruption in international development. Its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index drawing on corruption-related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions, based on views of observers from around the world. We took a look at their index to examine the level of transparency in countries that play a significant role in the diamond industry, although - to be clear - this index does not specify the transparency of the diamond industry in these countries. The index uses a scale of 0 - 100 (best possible score), and a dim view is taken of countries scoring lower than 50.
Among the countries with major diamond trade hubs, Belgium stands out as the least corrupt, ranking #15 overall (score: 77), followed by U.A.E at #23 (70), Israel at #32 (61), with upstarts Panama at #72 (39) and India at #76 (38) bringing up the rear - leading the Wall Street Journal to write about India's persistent corruption problems. The diamond producing countries spanned the entire index spectrum: Canada at #9 (88) and Australia at #13 (79) led the field, with Botswana at #28 (63) and Namibia at #45 (53) not far behind. The middle of the pack was limited to Lesotho and South Africa sharing position #61 (44), but it went quickly south after that: Russia and Sierra Leone sharing #119 (29), CAR at #145 (24), DRC at #147 (22), Zimbabwe at #150 (21) and Angola near the very bottom of the list at #163 (15).
Among the traditional retail/distribution centers, Switzerland topped the list at #7 (86), with the U.S. at #16 (76) and both Hong Kong and Japan at #18 (76). China did not fare so well in this group, ranking #83 (37), although it is nearly even with manufacturing center India.