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PepsiCo is completing withdrawal fr
Subject: PepsiCo is completing withdrawal from Burma.
PepsiCo is completing withdrawal from Burma
January 27, 1997
4.46 p.m. EST (2146 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it is halting
soft-drink syrup to its bottler in Burma, severing its last
business ties in a
country ruled by military leaders accused of human rights
Activists who have been pressing for the move said the $30
billion soft drink,
snack food and restaurant conglomerate is the biggest company
from the troubled Southeast Asian country.
"This sends an important signal to companies currently doing
Burma that this is not the time to invest in Burma,'' said
David M. Schilling, an
executive with the Interfaith Center on Corporate
Responsibility, an association
of 275 religious communities and pension funds.
Protests last year came from Pepsi's big target market --
high school and
college students -- and cost the company business. Harvard
down Pepsi for a $1 million contract and Stanford decided not
to allow a Taco
Bell, a PepsiCo restaurant, on campus after 2,000 students
university to sever ties with companies doing business in
PepsiCo had announced last May that it was selling its 40
percent stake in a
soft drink bottling venture in Burma because of a combination
reasons and in response to public sentiment toward the
But PepsiCo continued supplying the syrup used to make its
soft drink brands
to the venture under terms of its franchise agreement.
Keith Hughes, a spokesman for PepsiCo in Purchase, N.Y., said
the company had severed all relationships with the bottler on
Jan. 15 and is no
longer shipping syrup to it.
He said PepsiCo has been assured the bottler will "take steps
to make sure all
production and distribution of our products in Burma are
ceased by May 31.''
It had formed the venture called Pepsi-Cola Products Myanmar
Ltd. in 1991
Burmese businessman U Thein Tun.
PepsiCo based its decision to sever all ties to the bottler
"based on our
assessment of the spirit of U.S. government foreign policy
Hughes declined comment on the size of the Burmese bottler,
sources familiar with the business said it had sales of $3.2
million in 1995 and
accounted for about 80 percent of all soft drink sales in the
Companies that have already left Burma include Eddie Bauer,
amd Liz Claiborne, according to Schilling.
He said recent efforts have turned to oil companies with
interests in Burma
including Texaco, Unocal, Atlantic Richfield and France's
The Rev. Joseph La Mar, another critic of the Burmese
government and an
executive with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, said it is
important to get
foreign companies to end operations in Burma because their
the rulers much needed hard currency.
He said PepsiCo's withdrawal is especially important because
the company is
known all over the world.
[FOXNews, 27 January 1997].