Burma: Foreign Investment

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make it her policy to ban investment in Burma from (a) the UK and (b) British Dependent Territories; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We favour multilateral sanctions, such as those included in the EU Common Position on Burma, because they have a greater practical impact and send a stronger political signal. Any changes would need the support of all EU member states as the Common Position can only be amended by consensus.

The Common Position includes a ban on investment in or the provision of financial services to certain Burmese state-owned enterprises. The ban is in force in the UK and British Overseas Territories. Companies incorporated or constituted in the British Overseas Territories need to comply with the law, or risk prosecution.

We give no support to companies wishing to invest in Burma. British companies who enquire about trade and investment in Burma are informed of the political situation and the regime's record on human rights. A copy of the EU Common Position on Burma is available in the Library of the House.

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