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PepsiCO pulls out from Burma (The A

Subject: PepsiCO pulls out from Burma (The Asian Age, 29/1/97)

PepsiCo pulls out from Burma
The Asian Age (New Delhi), 29/1/97.
Bangkok, Jan. 28: US soft drink giant PepsiCo Inc, which sold its stake 
in a Burmese venture last year owing from g    pressure human rights 
groups, has pulled out of the country, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
A PepsiCo spokesman said ,by, telephone from New York .the company had 
severed ties with its bottler in Rangoon.  "We did indicate plans to 
discontinue all sales of our products there," he said.
Last April Pepsi sold its 40 percent stake in a venture with Pepsi Cola 
Products Myanmar, following increased lobbying by pressure groups in the 
United States.
But the company still had an exclusive five-year agreement with its 
former franchise bottler, Pepsi Cola Products Myanmar, which was making 
four different Pepsi soft drinks.
Thein Tun, chairman of the Burmese company, was not available for comment 
on Tuesday.  But after the initial pull out last year he told Reuters he 
had a firm bottling arrangement deal with Pepsi which would continue to 
supply syrup to make the soft drinks in Burma. 
The final pull out comes after repeated calls by Burmese democracy leader 
Aung San Suu Kyi for global s to desist from investing in Burma until the 
political and human rights and Suu Kyi have accused Burma's military, 
which took power violently suppressing nation-wide protests, of human 
rights abuses.
The United States Senate passed a bill last year allowing President Bill 
Clinton to impose economic sanctions on Burma if political and human 
rights situation deteriorates.
A statement issued by the Free Burma Coalition and obtained by Reuters on 
Tuesday said the Pepsi decision, which went into effect on January 15, 
was a key step towards drawing attention to the plight of Burma.  "The 
Pepsi victory will be a major morale booster for forces of democracy in 
Burma fighting under the leadership of Aung San Sun Kyi the National 
League for Democracy," Free Burma Coalition Co-ordinator. Zarni said.