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PepsiCo Pulls Out of Burma.
PepsiCo Pulls Out of Burma
By SKIP WOLLENBERG
AP Business Writer
Monday, January 27, 1997 5:43 pm EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it is
severing its last business ties to
Burma, becoming the biggest company to withdraw
from the country over its alleged human
PepsiCo spokesman Keith Hughes said Monday that
the $30 billion conglomerate has
stopped shipping soft drink syrup to its
``This sends an important signal to companies
currently doing business in 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
Companies that have already left Burma include
Eddie Bauer, Levi Strauss amd Liz
PepsiCo said in May that it was selling its 40
percent stake in the bottling venture for
business reasons and in response to public
sentiment toward Burma's military regime. But it
continued supplying the syrup.
The final cutoff was made ``based on our
assessment of the spirit of U.S. government
foreign policy toward Burma,'' Hughes said.
Hughes 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.''
The United States cut off economic aid to Burma
after the military crushed a 1988 popular
uprising and renamed the former British colony
Myanmar, its pre-colonial name. President
Clinton last year barred Burmese government
officials from U.S. visits, but some American
companies operate there.
The Burmese bottling venture, Pepsi-Cola
Products Myanmar Ltd., was formed in 1991
with businessman U Thein Tun. Industry sources
said it had sales of $3.2 million in 1995 and
accounted for about 80 percent of all soft
drink sales in the country.
Protests last year came from Pepsi's big target
market -- high school and college students --
and cost the company business. Harvard
University turned 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 petitioned the university
to sever ties with companies doing business in
[The Associated Press, 27 January 1997].