The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, which invests Norway’s oil and gas wealth, has excluded four companies from its portfolio because of their involvement in the sale of weapons and other military equipment to Myanmar.
The four companies are China North Industries Corporation (Norinco), China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASC), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
The move follows an agreement by the Norwegian government, after pressure from civil society groups, to review its investments in companies doing business in Myanmar.
The Fund had already excluded companies operating in certain sectors in Myanmar, such as tobacco and alcohol, and has now extended this decision to include companies that are involved in the sale and manufacture of weapons and other military equipment.
The decision was taken following a review of the companies’ activities by the Council on Ethics, which decided that the companies in question had contributed to serious human rights violations in Myanmar.
The Fund said that it had “no choice” but to exclude the companies and added that it would continue to review its investments in Myanmar, with a particular focus on companies involved in weapons production.
This decision by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global should send a strong message to all companies that are involved in the sale and manufacture of weapons and other military equipment in Myanmar. It shows that such activities will not be tolerated, and that companies that engage in them risk being excluded from the Fund’s portfolio.