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Editorial: Friendly admonitions

The Government tries to get things done in a friendly way. Or perhaps not even that. Three cabinets in a row have "called on" businesses not to deal with the Burmese dictatorship. Yet, trade has grown. Despite this, the Government does not want to adopt any boycott as legislation. This trade is so tiny that even industry could live with a boycott. Neither the national level nor local Government bodies have implemented the request in their purchasing routines.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
The Government tries to get things done in a friendly way. Or perhaps not even that. Three cabinets in a row have "called on" businesses not to deal with the Burmese dictatorship. Yet, trade has grown. Despite this, the Government does not want to adopt any boycott as legislation. This trade is so tiny that even industry could live with a boycott. Neither the national level nor local Government bodies have implemented the request in their purchasing routines.

The Government tries the friendly approach in other fields, too. It "expects" its own wholly or partly owned companies to behave according to Norwegian business customs. Those responsible hate like poison the thought of directing a company to avoid abuses. Abuses are preferable to controls that might weaken the development or stock exchange quotations of the companies. The result is Norsk Hydro's complicity in killings of indigenous people in India. In the same way, the Government has turned its back on proposals for binding guidelines for Norwegian businesses operating abroad.

The Government has a broad range of incentives that can be applied to businesses. If friendly admonitions are all they have to offer, they might as well let it be.

Norwatch Newsletter 3/01

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