A study commissioned by the European Parliament and published in March 2016 estimates the cost of corruption in Europe to be as much as 990 billion euros in terms of loss of Gross Domestic Product.
As Belgium has been engaged for many years in the fight against corruption while doing trade and it is a priority of the Belgian Government, the latter published, on December 2016, a guide to raise awareness among companies doing business in international markets for goods and services, by warning them of the main risks and consequences. It provides enterprises with practical tools and concrete examples to deal with corruption as well as possible ways to help them establish their own code of conduct.
Specifically, it wants to offer Belgian enterprises a starting point for internal measures which they may take in order to limit their exposure to the risk of corruption overseas. The measures taken, in particular for SMEs, must be adapted to their individual circumstances, including their size, type, legal structure and geographical and industrial sector of operation, as well as the jurisdictional and other basic legal principles under which they operate.
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