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3 Jul 2015

Myanmar: Coca-Cola discloses ties with sanctioned jade industry in new report to US govt.

 In June 2015, Coca-Cola released an updated report under the mandatory US Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma. In the report, Coca-Cola admitted the a number of challenges remain, including in relation to labour rights, land rights and gender equality. It also discloses tie with the controversial jade industry: the director of Coca-Cola Myanmar’s partner, Pinya Beverages Myanmar, is also the director of the Xie Family Company, active in the domestic jade business – which is linked to corruption and rights abuses and banned to export to the US under industry-wide sanctions. The disclosure came after Global Witness had alerted Coca-Cola of the link. According to Global Witness, this show the limitations of private due diligence in Myanmar. 

On 24 June 2015, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network and 11 institutional investors, asset owners and asset managers wrote to Caterpillar Inc., Chevron Corporation and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. The letters urge all three companies to submit comprehensive and timely reports pursuant to the U.S. Government’s Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements.

Caterpillar and Chevron provided responses.  Hilton has said it is in the process of reviewing the requirements and will provide an update in the coming weeks - we will post the update here.