26 September 2007

British Investment in Burma

Be sure to watch the follow up to yesterday's clash between Miliband and Paxman on Newsnight in tonight's "episode" — The promised statement provided by the Foreign Office, which can be found at the Newsnight site, leaves much to be desired, as the following excerpts from the responses from Burma Campaign UK and Newsnight make plain:

"Britain's ranking as the second largest investor in Burma is due in part because for years it has allowed foreign companies to use British territory to facilitate investment. The government's refusal to close this loophole is inexplicable."

"It remains the case that Britain has not banned UK companies from investing in or trading with Burma. And we note that the Foreign Office has not provided more details to support David Miliband's claim on Newsnight that no major companies are now investing in the country.

"The Foreign Secretary also promised to investigate whether or not Britain provides any funding to "exile" groups that promote democracy. This, as we stated on the programme, was highlighted in a report from the International Development Select Committee of July 2007. The Foreign Office has not addressed this issue in today's statement."