British American Tobacco pulls out of army-ruled Myanmar

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  • BAT started Myanmar business in 2013 after reforms
  • Decision based on long term viability of business – BAT
  • Coup, military action banned
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October 12 (Businesshala) – British American Tobacco (BATS.L) will cease all operations in militarily-ruled Myanmar and withdraw by the end of this year, the company said on Tuesday, the latest Western firm in the turmoil to exit the country. In turmoil since the February coup.

In response to a query from Businesshala about the status of its operations in the Southeast Asian country, the company said the decision was taken after assessing the long-term viability of its Myanmar business.

“Like any global company, we continually evaluate our operations around the world,” the company said.

“After evaluating the long-term operational and commercial viability of our business in Myanmar, we have made the decision to withdraw from the country and cease all operations.”

Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, ending a decade of temporary democracy and economic recovery that ended in 2011 after half a century of military rule and years of Western sanctions.

Several large firms in Myanmar initially expressed their commitment to the country in the weeks following the coup, but a month-long military crackdown on strikes and protests and the killing of more than 1,000 civilians forced many firms to reconsider Is.

BAT did not elaborate on the reasons for his decision to leave the country.

The BAT began operating in Myanmar in 2013, two years after launching sweeping reforms to woo a quasi-civilian government led by technocrats and retired generals. investors.

country’s fragile economy it’s very difficult now, with what currency Loss of more than 60% of its value last month, increasing the cost of food and fuel. The World Bank has forecast an 18% contraction in GDP this year.

The United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union have responded by imposing targeted sanctions on the military and its vast network of business interests.

Reporting by Martin Petty Editing by Alex Richardson and Mark Potter

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