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13 Nov 2021

Telenor response to concerns regarding Myanmar withdrawal

... Telenor is committed to respecting human rights, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and complying with the OECD guidelines for multinational companies. Telenor has a process of regular human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for human rights impacts, in alignment with the UNGPs.

Since the military takeover on 1 February 2021, Telenor has had three key focus areas - to ensure safety and security of our employees in Myanmar, to ensure that the telecommunications network is kept operational for our customers and a society in need of critical connectivity, and to be as open and transparent as possible about the situation in Myanmar and directives received from the authorities....

At Telenor, we live by our Code of Conduct and operate with the same ethical business standards across all our operations. Developments in Myanmar since the military took power on 1 February, unfortunately means that it is no longer possible for us to adhere to these standards, keep our employees safe and at the same time remain as an operator in Myanmar. It has also become clear that Telenor’s continued presence would require Telenor Myanmar to activate intercept equipment... Ultimately, this conflict between local and international law and human rights principles made continued presence in Myanmar impossible for Telenor Group...

The sale of Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group, would allow for continued employment for our 750 employees, and access to service with a fourth operator, for 17 million subscribers, as well as essential industries such as hospitals and banks. This decision was not motivated by financial or strategic objectives...