Developing countries still losing to trade mispricing and other illicit financial flows

Posted on

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) released its annual analysis of the cost of crime, corruption, and trade mispricing on developing countries this week. The report, “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009,” finds that approximately US$6.5 trillion was removed from the developing world from 2000 through 2008. The report also examines illicit flows from Asia, which produced the largest portion of total outflows, and makes projections for 2009. (The full report is here and Tip Sheet here).

The report ranks countries according to magnitude of outflows with China ranking 1 ($2.18 trillion), Russia 2 ($427 billion), Mexico 3 ($416 billion), Saudi Arabia 4 ($302 billion), and Malaysia 5 ($291 billion). The report also shows the annual outflows for each country and breaks outflows down into two categories of drivers: trade mispricing and “other,” which includes kickbacks, bribes, embezzlement, and other forms of official corruption.

“Every year developing countries are losing ten times the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) remitted for poverty alleviation and economic development,” said GFI director Raymond Baker. “This report measures the quantity and pattern of these harmful outflows and provides stark proof of the impact of these illicit financial practices."