Sanctions, Forestry and the Rule of Law in Myanmar

I was quoted in a recent article concerning the US’s decision to wave sanctions on  the timber industry in Myanmar as follows:

“Laws protecting human rights and the environment are absent or in nascent stages of development in Myanmar. Despite this slow reform, the government is pressing ahead with a policy of promoting rapid growth in foreign investment. This creates a legal void into which foreign investment is flowing that can result in human rights abuse and environmental degradation.”

Unfortunately, this quote applies to all investment coming into the country across all relevant sectors. Companies need to tread carefully and use their influence to encourage the enactment, implementation and enforcement of laws protecting human rights and the environment. It is risky to invest where the rule of law is not firmly established. It can exacerbate existing human rights violations and threaten the environment.

Please see: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/business/11318-us-to-waive-timber-sanctions-for-one-year.html

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