Western business groups, namely European, American, British, Italian and French chambers of commerce, rejected the regime’s invitation to meet on March 4, 2021.
At the same time, major Asian business groups such as the Thai, Hong Kong, Japanese and Chinese have not released any statements of concern since the government takeover and crackdown on violent protesters.
Australian business group AustCham Myanmar said on Wednesday it has serious concern over the increasing use of counter violence against the people rioting for a return to an elected Government in Myanmar.
Yangon, the commercial capital, saw at least up to 32 killed in North Okkalapa township alone. Myanmar will never be the same again,” Cardinal Charles Bo, the Catholic Church’s highest prelate in Myanmar.
A Myanmar-focused journalist and analyst, who requested anonymity, said “Private businesses have a crucial role to play at this time. Both local and foreign businesses which have ties to the two military conglomerates should sever the links.
As employees of private banks join the Civil Disobedience Movement, the movement has paralyzed the entire banking system, not only military-owned banks. In time the movement could snowball into even many employees of military-owned or affiliated businesses joining as well.
Where there is less freedom of expression, there is more corruption and more bad business behavior. Both of those are bad for business.
More than 160 companies, 115 local and 47 international including multinational firms such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, Telenor and Heineken, signed a joint statement to express “growing and deep concern the developments in Myanmar since the declaration of a state of emergency on 1st February.
Asian companies invested in the country who have remained silent on the state of emergency are also increasingly in the cross-hairs.
Businesses should take a firm stance on injustice. If they do not stand with the people, these businesses will face the people’s social punishment.
Businesses should know that being boycotted by consumers is a much higher price to pay than to maintain good relations with generals who are against the genocide.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point Asia Social Revolution News 2021.