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Here Comes The Bribe

Honesty isn't always the best policy abroad

This story appears in the October 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes global entrepreneurs face hazards far more insidious than unfamiliar languages and customs. One of the worst experiences of doing business abroad: dealing with corruption.

"Bribery is a common way of doing business in a lot of places," says Steve Veltkamp, president of Biz$hop, an import/export business and consulting service in Port Angeles, Washington. Veltkamp, 47, notes that bribery is most common in underdeveloped countries. "Where basic jobs don't pay well, it's tempting for an official to 'supplement' income that way," says Veltkamp. "It's deeply ingrained."

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