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Posts Tagged ‘Investment’ (49 found)

Business as Usual for Burma

With the gold-rush for Burma’s plentiful resources already on us, the New Myanmar Investment Summit that was held in Rangoon last week was an opportunity for Thein Sein’s government to show the world that Burma is indeed ready for a rapid increase of foreign investment. In a televised speech President Thein Sein announced that a new foreign investment law will be enacted soon. The same week, news emerged that foreign companies will be granted a five-year tax holiday and will be allowed 100% ownership in certain sectors, though not including energy. The reality, however, is that Burma is far from ready, and warnings have already been sounded.

One such warning was issued by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in a speech for the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, “The Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise [MOGE] … with which all foreign participation in the energy sector takes place through joint venture arrangements, lacks both transparency and accountability at present.” Previous investment in the oil and gas sectors has resulted in increased militarization around projects leading to human rights abuses such as land confiscation, forced displacement, torture, rape, and even killings. That MOGE, the same entity that was directly responsible for these violations, will now be dealing with any foreign investors in the oil and gas sectors has not been a deterrent. Nine overseas firms from Asia and Europe signed exploration deals with the state owned company since March. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s warnings, it appears, will not be heeded by resource hungry energy firms desperate to capitalize on Burma’s opening, regardless of any moral concerns […]

June 25, 2012  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , ,  •  Read more ➤

Catalyst for Conflict

Foreign investments are causing increasing conflict and abuses in northern Burma despite recent ceasefire agreements and talk of reform in the country, according to a briefing paper released by the Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization […]

May 23, 2012  •  By Ta'ang Students and Youth Organization  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

International Community Neglects to Take a Stand as Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in Kachin State

In a week where the US has significantly eased sanctions against Burma, the plight of the Kachin people remains perilous as the humanitarian situation caused by Burma Army attacks worsens.

The Chairman of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urging him to do more to help the tens of thousands of Kachin refugees who are suffering from the conflict. The letter speaks of “ethnic cleansing” by the Burma Army and appeals to take action to prevent the situation becoming more “complex.” The Chairman encourages Ban Ki-moon to “facilitate visits by UN personnel to conflict zones and IDP camps in Kachin State, so that appropriate assistance can be arranged and provided to the IDPs.”

With this appeal it is apparent the people of Kachin State are in a dire situation. Human rights abuses such as torture, forced labour and abductions are commonplace while the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT) issued a press release documenting an example of such atrocities whereby an ethnic Kachin woman, a 48 year old mother of twelve, was gang-raped by Burma Army soldiers earlier this month. According to KWAT, “About ten troops beat her with rifle butts, stabbed her with knives, stripped her naked and gang-raped her over a period of three days in the church.” As hundreds of cases have been well documented and reported by women organizations from Burma, the Burma Army uses rape as a weapon of war in its offensives against various ethnic resistance groups over the years. Over 60 cases have been documented since the conflict started in Kachin State nearly one year ago […]

May 21, 2012  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

International Community’s Premature Rewards Fail to Address Armed Conflict and Human Rights Violations in Burma

This briefer looks at the April by-elections, new laws that fail to protect the people, ongoing armed conflict, problematic development, sanctions, and offers recommendations to the international community and guidelines for investment in Burma […]

May 15, 2012  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

New Peace Committee Offers Little Hope to Ethnic People

Last week, the Thein Sein government formed its new union-level peace committee comprised of a central committee and a working committee. Although the formation of the committee looks very encouraging to investors and gives another reason for Western countries to further lift sanctions, it gives little hope to the people of Kachin State who have lost both their homes and their faith in the President after he unsuccessfully and repeatedly ordered the Burma Army to halt offensives in Kachin State.

As with most of the reforms announced, much secrecy surrounds the new peace committee. There is little transparency regarding the process of its establishment and mandate. Apart from names of the central committee members, disclosed by an unofficial source, there is no other official information available about the central and working committees. The central committee headed by President Thein Sein and the 52-member working committee includes the Vice-Presidents, heads of States and Divisions, Members of Parliament, Ministers and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces […]

May 14, 2012  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Joint Statement on Investment and Trade in Burma

With many sanctions against the military-backed government in Burma in the process of being suspended or lifted, there is intense interest from European companies in investing and trading with Burma […]

May 5, 2012  •  By European Burma Network  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Burma “Not Open for Business” Investor Network Says

Amid reports that the recent elections in Burma will lead to relaxation of international sanctions, a briefing paper released today by the Conflict Risk Network (CRN) warns investors that high risks remain despite initial reforms by President Thein Sein and the electoral victory of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi […]

April 18, 2012  •  By Conflict Risk Network  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Not Open for Business: Despite Elections, Investor Risk Remains High in Burma

The April 1 Burmese by-elections are being heralded as a great success both for the people of Burma and for the international community after more than a decade of sanctions. While there is cause to celebrate in the wake of initial reforms by President Thein Sein and the electoral victory of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, high levels of risk for investors – and the people of Burma – remain […]

April 18, 2012  •  By Conflict Risk Network  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Asian Countries Place Business Interests Before ‘Grave’ Human Rights Situation in Burma

This week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, provided a succinct description of human rights in Burma’s post-election environment: “Despite the promise of a transition [in Burma], the human rights situation remains grave.” Meanwhile, the investment situation remains lucrative, with countries and companies pumping billions of dollars into ongoing and new projects. By placing business interests over human interests, the military regime and countries in the region continue to fail to advance and protect human rights in Burma […]

February 28, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤