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Editorial: Front soldiers

When the Apartheid regime was at the verge of falling in South Africa, the most important argument the Norwegian authorities used for the lifting of sanctions as soon as possible, was the fear for the Norwegian industry loosing the fight for contracts. Looking back, it does not seem like the lifted sanctions created any big interest among companies, for the Democractic South Africa.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
When the Apartheid regime was at the verge of falling in South Africa, the most important argument the Norwegian authorities used for the lifting of sanctions as soon as possible, was the fear for the Norwegian industry loosing the fight for contracts. Looking back, it does not seem like the lifted sanctions created any big interest among companies, for the Democractic South Africa.

Instead, the industry found itself new dictators. Today, in principle, the Norwegian industry does not boycott any country. The fact that the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro tendered for and lost a fertiliser project in Burma, while two other companies chose to pull out, is not reassuring to anyone. In the mean time,  Chinese top leaders visiting Norway  “dictates” the police to introduce Chinese treatment of human rights groups.

The Norwegian Prime Minister Brundtland continuously courts dubious regimes, with her tail-drooping top businessmen. “Gro is cream of the cake”, says Einar Risa from the Norwegian Export Council, in respect to the possibility of companies attaining contracts. No, there is nothing in today’s joint efforts of the industry and authorities, that reassures us.

Norwatch Newsletter 6/96

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