POSCO should suspend all payments to MOGE
- Int. Solidarity
- 2021.04.19 (18:18:27)
Announcement of POSCO C&C’s termination of the partnership with the MEHL, POSCO should suspend all payments to MOGE
Specific plans on terminating its partnership with MEHL should be disclosed
On April 16th, POSCO Coated & Color Steel Co Ltd(POSCO C&C) announced that its joint venture with the MEHL (Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited), a firm controlled by the Myanmar military in Myanmar would be terminated. However, POSCO C&C only announced the termination of the partnership without disclosing its specific plans. Although POSCO’s plan of ending its partnership should be acknowledged, the viability of acquiring 30% of the MEHL’s share and when it will be is questionable. Especially, continuing its steel business in MEHL’s special economic zone also shows that the relationship between Myanmar’s military government has not been completely ended. POSCO should disclose its specific plans for terminating the partnership and stop funding the military government. Also, POSCO should take significant initiatives to halt the funding and pay dividends from other businesses, including oil extraction.
Due to its partnership with the MEHL, the international community has criticized POSCO, including the United Nations. According to a report from Amnesty International, 18 billion dollars have been paid as dividends to the shareholders for the last 20 years, and 16 billion dollars have been transferred to the Myanmar military. Most shareholders are retired soldiers and commanders who led the mass killing of civilians in the past. Furthermore, Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar military, who initiated the coup, is one of the largest shareholders of the MEHL.
POSCO is one of the Myanmar military’s closest international business partners and operates the Shwe gas field, in a profit-sharing agreement with the state-owned MOGE (Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise). The MOGE is one of the most prominent funding sources for the Myanmar military junta, and the UN special rapporteur Thomas Andrews has urged for targeted sanctions. POSCO has paid 15% of dividends from its gas production and exploration business to over 180 million dollars. It has been revealed that POSCO has helped Myanmar’s Navy purchase a Landing Platform Dock(LPD). Also, POSCO and Lotte corporation subsidiary Lotte Hotels and Resorts have developed a hotel in Yangon on land leased from the Myanmar military, thereby providing financing for the military, under a build, operate, and transfer agreement.
Contrary to POSCO’s ideology of Corporate Citizenship: Building a Better Future Together, it has established an intimate relationship with the Myanmar military junta and continued to share profit. People of Myanmar are requesting economic sanctions by the international community to stop funding the military government. We must stop the funding for the military junta to stop the mass killing of Myanmar people. POSCO should disclose its gas exploration and hotel plan and halt the financing of the Myanmar military junta.
April 19th, 2021
Korean Civil Society in Support of Democracy in Myanmar