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16 Apr 2023

Richard Milne, Financial Times

Myanmar: Telenor CEO says exiting Myanmar is the 'least bad alternative'

"Telenor says bruising Myanmar exit helped prompt rejig of Asia business", 16 April 2023

Telenor’s difficult exit from Myanmar after the military coup has hurt investors’ views of the rest of its Asian assets, according to the Norwegian telecoms company’s chief executive.

Sigve Brekke [...] said at the time that the company was in an impossible situation after it was refused the right to allow foreign employees to leave and was asked to use phone interceptive equipment, contravening international law. However, activists and human rights campaigners criticised its departure heavily, regarding it as an abandonment by Norway.

More than a year on Brekke said: “I’m sad knowing that we had to leave Myanmar. Myanmar was both profitable and a place where we saw we would make a difference. We thought we didn’t have any alternative. We picked the least bad alternative.”