"Stop controversial investments abroad"

14th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 June 2007, THE HAGUE – The Labour PvdA thinks that the government should stop Dutch businesses from investing in countries if the proceeds of those investments benefit controversial regimes. Those governments can use the profits to buy weapons and use them against their own people for instance, as in the case of Sudan.

14 June 2007

THE HAGUE – The Labour PvdA thinks that the government should stop Dutch businesses from investing in countries if the proceeds of those investments benefit controversial regimes. Those governments can use the profits to buy weapons and use them against their own people for instance, as in the case of Sudan.

PvdA MP Martijn van Dam thinks that the Dutch companies bear partial responsibility for what is going on in areas like Darfur, for instance, because of their investments. He planned to broach the subject during an emergency debate today on a trade mission to Iran. Iran is under pressure at the moment because of its nuclear ambitions.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan makes the situation there more serious than that in Iran, Van Dam says. A trade mission to Sudan is also in the works, also organised by the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Trade.

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and State secretary Frank Heemskerk (economic affairs) have not banned the private mission to Iran, but at Parliament's request they have revoked the subsidy that was initially granted.

Van Dam agrees with that decision, but does not understand why the government does not want to tackle trade with Sudan. Answers that the cabinet gave to written questions this week made it clear that they do not want to get involved. Van Dam found the answers unsatisfactory.

He is particularly concerned about investments in the oil and gas sector in Sudan, which the government in Khartoum profits from directly.

Trafigura Beheer is active in Sudan and two Dutch investment funds have stakes in Indian and Chinese old companies that invest in Sudan.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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