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This year's Christmas present is called "Action plan for human rights". It comes from the Norwegian Government, and it is addressed to The Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry.
The first and only Norwegian-produced diving bell should have been on display in the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. It would have been the centre of an exhibition of the difficult working conditions of the North Sea divers in the years before there were any health and safety regulations in this dangerous business. Today, the diving bell is being used on the bottom of the sea outside the coast of Bombay in India. What should have been a gift to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, was instead "dumped" in a poor country with more lenient safety demands.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is going to Iran in November to try to open some doors for Norwegian business. The Norwegian State's favourites, Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Telenor, have joined the Ministry for a guided tour, in what may seem like a new and promising market.
For three years, the Norwegian-owned holiday paradise Club KonTiki on the small island Mactan in the Philippines has refused to sign the collective tariff agreement that was negotiated between the workers and the lawyer of the management in 1996. According to the trade union, the management does not even respond to their requests, and the workers have called for a strike.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on an evaluation of the so-called "mixed credits."  These credits have been given through NORAD's budgets, and are used in the financing of industrial and infrastructure projects abroad, where Norwegian firms participate.
We will be the first to shrug at the fact that the Norwegian Government has not reached its aim to increase the Norwegian foreign aid to 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Quality rather than quantity in foreign aid has become a rather clich‚ filled demand. Nonetheless, it is necessary to repeat the phrase after having read NORAD's 1998 annual report.
Norwegian multinational companies find it profitable to have big and professional information departments, whose job is to spread positive news about the companies in the share market, reassure the surroundings during hard times, and form the public opinion's impression of the company.
Sometimes people speak against their better judgement.  Those things happen.

Varying environmental performance, good working conditions:
Just like a number of other Norwegian companies operating on Sri Lanka, the horticulture company Green Farms is subject to the regulations of the Board of Investment, which is undermining the right for workers to organise. However, managing director Arne Svinningen is of the opinion that trade unions are good for the company, and about 95% of the company's workers are organised. In spite of there being no formal demands to do so, Green Farms has been trying hard to improve its environmental performance during the later years. However, this performance is still varying, and for growing plants, the company makes use of several chemical pesticides that are banned in Norway because of their impacts on the environment and human health.

Poor environmental performance and union-ban:
In the Katunayake export processing zone, just north of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, the Norwegian-owned company New Life Literature owns a factory printing bibles and other Christian literature. Since the factory came into being in 1984, the company has been a supplier of Christian literature to all parts of the world, and at a very low price. The backside of the coin, however, is a ban on trade unions, and all hazardous wastes simply being poured untreated into the sink.

Aker RGI has announced that they will sell Scancem. Kværner has announced that they will sell Pulp & Paper and Energy. However, this does unfortunately not mean that NorWatch will become unemployed. But will the world become a better place?
The pulp giant PT Tanjung Enim Lestari (PT TEL) in Sumatra, Indonesia, causes fear among the local population, and is met by strong protests. The local population resist the low compensation they are offered, after corrupt governmental officials have had their share. Pollution from the plant will also cause serious environmental problems. Kværner delivers equipment to the plant worth approximately 350 million kroner (USD 46 million).