The private sector plays a key role in the fight against corruption. According to several studies, the level of transparency strongly influences economic growth. Therefore a country's competitiveness and investment environment are largely influenced by the degree and the kind of corruption the market players have to face. Corruption in Hungary stems from several reasons. Beside the legislative and enforcement deficiencies, and the nature of the investment environment, the other significant reason for corruption in Hungary is cultural in nature, and stems from the ethical attitude of the Hungarian society. For the Hungarian business culture transparent financial competition is not of paramount importance, and the general public is not aware of the fact that ethical business conduct increases profit and decreases risks in the long term. In addition, the general public tends not to form a negative opinion of those companies which are exposed as abusers. According to the market players doing business in Hungary, it is impossible (or extremely difficult) to succeed without giving in to corruption in our country. Transparency International Hungary aims to change this attitude.
There is little information available about how ethically the companies operate. It is also unknown to what degree the companies comply with the rules of the competition culture, and to what degree the companies accept these rules.
Therefore, Transparency International Hungary conducted a survey in which international companies doing business in Hungary also participated. The survey focused on four sectors: 1) IT, 2) health care and hospitals, 3) the construction industry, 4) logistics and shipping. The survey was designed to explore the standard of competition culture, and to give comprehensive feedback on the competitive opportunities in the Hungarian investment environment and the four sectors studied. It also aimed to increase the general public’s awareness of the topic.
The study was supported by the Hungarian Competition Authority Center for the Culture of Competition, and Siemens AG.