Economist: Lack of improvement on corruption perception index “not a good look”

Economist: Lack of improvement on corruption perception index “not a good look”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS —The Bahamas’ lack of improvement on the corruption perception index is “not a good look”, a well-known regional economist said yesterday, warning that this could have negative implications for domestic as well as foreign direct investments. 

Marla Dukharan.

Marla Dukharan pointed to the country’s score while addressing Royal Fidelity’s Economic Outlook yesterday.

“This is not a good look,” she said.

“I was surprised to see this statistic. If the perception of corruption is not improving, there will be negative implications for both domestic and foreign direct investments. FTX has really done a number on The Bahamas’ reputation and it’s not the kind of shock that this country needed.  Much work needs to be done in improving the institutional framework of The Bahamas.”

The Bahamas held on to its score of 64 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for its second consecutive year. The CPI is the most widely used global corruption ranking in the world, measuring how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be according to experts and business people.

According to the report, a country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale from zero to 100. Zero means the country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means the country is perceived as very clean.

In the recently released CPI 2022 index, The Bahamas maintained its spot as the 30th least corrupt nation out of 180 counties. The Bahamas closely followed Barbados which scored 65 and ranked 29.

Dukharan touted the Cayman Islands as a model of the region, stating that the country has a level of oversight and an institutional framework that this nation does not have. She also claimed that the Cayman Islands has the best-running economy in the region. 

“They are able to achieve the most consistent positive growth, better than any other country in the Caribbean. I always point to the Cayman Islands because of their fiscal responsibility,” said Dukharan.

Dukharan also noted that The Bahamas needs a more “progressive” system of taxation as VAT is too regressive and pointed to this nation’s declining human development scores which she said indicates a deteriorating quality of life.