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US Govt’s Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements - reports, comments, guidelines & company responses

The Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements and civil society responses

Following a series of public consultations, the US Government’s Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements took effect on May 23, 2013. Civil society groups welcomed the Requirements, while remaining concerned about the risks of investment in the country, gaps in the reporting framework, and the need to make the requirements stronger.

The full text of the Reporting Requirements is available here.

Latest development, July 2014

More company reports are now available in the US Embassy website. These include reports by Western Union, Capital Group Companies, Coca-Cola, Four Rivers and Clipper Holdings.

According to EIRIS Conflict Risk Network Director Kathy Mulvey, “Some of the reports submitted to date provide valuable information to investors seeking to identify corporate involvement in Burma/Myanmar; assess corporate policies, systems and reporting; and conduct enhanced due diligence regarding how companies respond to specific human rights challenges in the country. However, the omissions may be as revealing as the submissions. Several reports fail to provide critical information, and some companies may be taking an overly narrow view of the investments that are subject to reporting.” Further details on the work of EIRIS Conflict Risk Network related to the reporting requirements are available here

October 2013

In October 2013, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network (CRN) sent letters to US companies Coca-Cola, Ford and GE urging them to submit thorough and accurate reports under the Reporting Requirements; and to Capital Group, urging it to resubmit its report for being “grossly inadequate”. (See below.) EIRIS CRN emphasized that reports should include identified risks and impacts, and any preventative or mitigating steps taken; detailed disclosures on business partners, related entities and supply chains; and all aspects of “new investment” in Burma regardless of its/their form or makeup. Business & Human Rights Resource Center invited the companies to respond. Links to the letters and responses are provided below:

-       Capital Group: [PDF] letter & DOC] company response

-       Coca-Cola: [PDF] letter & [PDF] company response

-       Ford: [PDF] letter & [DOC] company response

-       GE: [PDF] letter & [DOC] company response and [DOC] press release

July 2013 

The first five reports were submitted pursuant to the Requirements. Those companies were: Capital Guardian Emerging Markets DC Master Fund, Emerging Markets Growth Fund, Inc., Crowley Marine Services, Inc., Hercules Offshore, Inc., Capital Guardian Emerging Markets Restricted Equity Fund for Tax-Exempt Trusts.

In response, civil society groups issued comments that include criticisms of the company reports and the requirements themselves: 
-       “First Myanmar Investment Disclosures Present Opportunities and Challenges”, EarthRights International, 10 Jul 2013
-       [PDF] “Re: Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements”, Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment [letter to President Barack Obama], 5 Sep 2013

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Capital Bank & Trust, Capital Investment and Crowley Marine Services to respond to the EarthRights International and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment statements. The Capital Bank & Trust and Capital Investment response is available here. Crowley Marine Services did not respond.

Frequently Asked Questions

On September 23, 2013, the US Department of State released Frequently Asked Questions intended to provide guidance to individuals or corporations seeking to invest in Myanmar.


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Related stories and components

2 July 2014

[PDF] Myanmar: EIRIS welcomes new reports pursuant to US responsible investment requirements but says some fail to provide critical information

Author: EIRIS Conflict Risk Network

U.S. Companies Report on Burma Investments – Reporting Requirements Spur Disclosures, But Questions Remain, 1 July 2014...

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Company response
20 November 2013

Response by Capital Group: EIRIS Conflict Risk Network urges Coca-Cola, Ford, GE to report robustly on investment in Myanmar under US Govt's Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, and Capital Group to resubmit report.

Read full response

Company response
19 November 2013

Capital Group response to EIRIS Conflict Risk Network’s letter on the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements

Author: Capital Group

...Any human rights issues that may affect companies are considered by our investment professionals as part of the investment management process. This approach is consistent with the stated investment objectives and policies of the funds. We believe...

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Company response
19 November 2013

Ford response to EIRIS Conflict Risk Network letter about the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements

Author: Thomas Niemann, Ford

...Ford is aware of these requirements and is committed to full compliance. We understand the importance of these reporting requirements and how they can help with important human rights, peace and stability initiatives in Burma...

Read full response

Company response
16 November 2013

Coca-Cola response

Author: Edward E. Potter, Coca-Cola

…In addition to detailing our due diligence process and findings, our report will address risk prevention and mitigation, stakeholder engagement, partner information, transparency and other topics. We will include information on many of our policies,...

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Company response
7 November 2013

GE’s response to letter from EIRIS Conflict Risk Network on GE’s submission under the Burma Responsible Reporting Requirements

Author: Mark Nordstrom, GE

…The unattributed statement in a recent news article about GE having already filed a report is simply incorrect. Since there is no current legal obligation for GE to file such a report, no report has been filed. Nevertheless, GE takes its citizenship...

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25 September 2013

Comments on US Govt’s Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements following first company disclosures

Author: Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

…In July 2013, the first five reports were submitted pursuant to the [Responsible Investment Reporting] Requirements. In response, civil society groups issued comments that include criticisms of the company reports and the requirements themselves...

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Company non-response
25 September 2013

Crowley did not respond to: Vale Columbia Center, EarthRights Intl. comment on US Govt.'s "Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements" & first company disclosures submitted under requirements.

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