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Here Comes The Bribe Honesty isn't always the best policy abroad

By Moira Allen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

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

Another contributing factor, according to TransparencyInternational, an organization that monitors internationalcorruption, is the degree to which officials perceive themselves asimmune to any penalties for demanding and receiving bribes.

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