10/08/2013 05:01 EDT | Updated 12/07/2013 05:12 EST

Watchdog: US, Germany best at enforcing anti-bribery rules but many top exporters do nothing

BERLIN - An anti-corruption watchdog ranks the U.S. and Germany as the most active at enforcing rules prohibiting multinational companies from using bribes in foreign markets, but says half of the world's top exporters are doing little or nothing at all.

Transparency International's report released Tuesday showed only the U.S., Germany, Britain and Switzerland actively enforced the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention agreed upon by 40 major exporting countries between 2009 and 2012.

The 1997 convention prohibits bribes to win contracts and licenses or to dodge taxes and local laws.

Twenty countries that together account for about 27 per cent of the world's exports, including G-20 members Japan, Brazil, South Korea and the Netherlands, showed little or no enforcement, the watchdog said. A further 10 had only limited enforcement.