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[Newsmaker] Posco C&C severs ties with Myanmar’s military conglomerate MEHL

Myanmar Posco C&C Co. logo (Myanmar Posco C&C Co. website)
Myanmar Posco C&C Co. logo (Myanmar Posco C&C Co. website)

Posco C&C decided to end their business partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), one of Myanmar’s two largest military holding companies, the company said Friday.

The affiliate of South Korea’s steel giant Posco said it will end its partnership with MEHL by purchasing all the stakes MEHL has in their joint venture, Myanmar Posco C&C Co., following public outcry against Myanmar military’s brutal crackdown on its citizens after a coup in February.

Posco C&C started its business in Myanmar in 1997, and established the joint venture with MEHL in 2013 to supply surface-treatment steel sheets in the Myanmar market.

The steel product manufacturer owns a 70 percent of stake in the joint venture, and it will purchase the remaining 30 percent held by MEHL, in as early as the first half of this year.

“Through the operation of Myanmar Posco C&C, we have produced high-quality surface-treatment steel sheets in Myanmar and made a lot of efforts to support the improvement of people’s living conditions, to create jobs and contribute to industrialization and vitalization of the country’s economy,” Posco C&C said in a statement.

“We wish to continue to contribute to Myanmar’s economy and we will strengthen our corporate social responsibility programs supporting education and epidemic prevention. We hope to sustain growth there.”

Since a military coupe broke out in February, Posco has been pressured to sever business ties with military-backed companies in Myanmar.

As of this month, over 700 civilians are reported to have been killed by the Myanmar military junta.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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