The importation of clothing from Burma has once again been reduced by
50% in one year. Even though the value of the teak importation from
Burma increased last year by all of 62%, from 4.4 million Norwegian
kroners (500.000 euro) to 7.2 million (823.000 euro), the import volume
of tropical timber from the military dictatorship has nevertheless
decreased by 17.4% in 2008.
The shipping company Belships is one of a few Norwegian companies to have established a joint-venture company in Burma. “The company, which was to have recruited Burmese seamen, has never been operative”, Sverre Tidemand, general manager of Belships, told Norwatch. He said the initiative has definitely been put on hold after the past weeks’ events.
The Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise has done a complete turnaround and given Norwatch access to its lists of all companies that have imported goods from the military dictatorship in Burma since 2005. The 145 companies that have received Burmese goods by means of a third country have thereby been exposed. Altogether the list contains 154 Burma importers.
The Norwegian drilling company Frontier Drilling has landed on the list of ill-reputed companies operating in Burma. The company has carried out drilling operations for the Korean firm Daewoo in the Shwe field offshore Burma. The company wants to say as little as possible about the assignment.
In 1996, Statoil and Norsk Hydro had conversations with the military junta in Burma about going into cooperation. It was the gas on the Yadana field that was so tempting - but the Norwegians resisted. Americans in Unocal, where the Petroleum Fund is a stockholder, did not. Now they are in trouble.
Searunner Shipping in Oslo offers help to Norwegian customers who want to ship cargo from "the world's worst military dictatorship." That is not going too well! Still, they have no intentions of throwing in the towel.
Project leader Trine Johansen in PD Burma/Worldview Rights reacts strongly to the newsærner still is not out of Burma. - It was my strong impression that Kværner were to withdraw immediately, says Trine Johansen to NorWatch. It has now been six months since the Norwegian Kværner management promised to back out of the contract with Premier Oil in Burma. Still Kværner engineers are strolling around on the Yetagun platform.
Ten years after Norway gave Aung San Suu Kyi the Nobel Peace prize for her work for a democratic Burma - four years after prime-minister Kjell Magne Bondevik asked. Norwegian business to follow the peace-price winners' advice not to trade with the country - we are importing more than ever from the military-regime.