The Burma Campaign UK today publishes an updated version of its ‘Dirty List’ of companies whose operations are directly or indirectly helping to finance the military dictatorship in Burma.
Advertising giant WPP, Ernst & Young, P&O Cruises, Deutsche Post, and Hutchison Whampoa subsidiaries Superdrug and 3 Mobile have all been added to the Burma Campaign’s ‘Dirty List’.
They join British American Tobacco (BAT), Suzuki, Total Oil, construction firm Kajima, Lonely Planet, Austrian Airlines, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Daewoo, and Orient Express.
“The ‘Dirty List’ exposes companies who are directly or indirectly helping to finance one of the most brutal regimes in the world,” said John Jackson, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Foreign investment and trade can benefit developing countries, but in Burma it helps finance a regime that uses rape, torture and murder to oppress its own people.”
WPP’s successful takeover of Cordiant Communications means they now have a subsidiary in Burma – Bates Myanmar. Ernst & Young have a contract with a firm in Burma, U Tin Win Group, to which they refer clients wanting business advice in Burma.
P&O Cruises have merged with Carnival Corporation, which operates cruises to Burma. Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL has a subsidiary in Burma which is a joint venture with the regime. Superdrug and 3 mobile join the ‘Dirty List’ as subsidiaries of Hutchison Whampoa, which operates a port in Burma.
Gary Player Design, owned by golf legend Gary Player, Intrepid Travel, PanMacmillan, and Noble Caledonia are other new additions to the list.
The list mainly targets British companies or companies with a significant presence in Britain. A total of 78 are named and shamed. An updated ‘Clean List’ of companies who have pulled out or have policies not to trade with Burma is also released today. These include Premier Oil, Kuoni, M&S, Next, Levi’s, Texaco and Triumph International.
“Most companies will not get involved with Burma because of the ethical issues involved,” says John Jackson. “It is significant that even without investment sanctions only two FTSE 100 companies, BAT and WPP, have any significant involvement in Burma.” In July the British government asked BAT to pull out of Burma.
The travel industry dominates the list, with 26 travel companies operating tours to Burma and 12 companies publishing guides that encourage people to visit the country. There is a tourist boycott of Burma as tourism is an important source of income for the regime, and much tourist infrastructure has been built using slave labour and child labour. The Burma Campaign UK is currently calling for a boycott of Lonely Planet as it publishes a guide to Burma.
The list is intended as a resource for investors and campaigners. Campaign action sheets for each of the companies are available online.
For more information and a copy of the Dirty List, contact Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7281 7377