British American Tobacco pulls out of Burma
BAT pulls out of Burma
Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien has expressed his 'delight' at British American Tobacco's (BAT) decision to withdraw from Burma, following a request from the Government.
The Minister asked BAT to pull out of Burma on 2 July after the Government expressed concern over the country's human rights record. It has been the UK's long standing policy not to encourage British trade, investment or tourism in Burma.
Mr O'Brien said:
"I appreciate that this was a difficult process, but I am in no doubt that the decision was the right one. It was inappropriate for a British company which cares about its reputation for corporate social responsibility to be participating in a joint venture with the business arm of Burma's military dictatorship.
BAT's decision today reinforces the Prime Minister's message in June that trade and investment with Burma is not appropriate "so long as the regime continues to suppress the basic rights of its people", added the Minister.
On 14 July, Mike O'Brien
wrote to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA),
urging British travel agents who arrange holidays in Burma
to reconsider their operations in that country