Solidarity and Support
The Burmese Military Regime (SPDC) and
the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)
Burma’s position in South- and
Southeast Asia has considerably improved over the past decades,
providing the State Peace and Development Council (or SPDC, the
Burmese military regime), with increased negotiating power.
regime has benefited from improved economic relations and trade
and Thailand, as well as many western corporations,
which provide the financial basis for its grip to power.
SPDC has considerably expanded its armed forces. In the
1990s alone, it struck deals with China worth over US $2
international criticism, in 1997 the country was admitted to the
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
is rich in natural resources, including gems, minerals, timber,
oil and natural gas. Despite sanctions and investment bans
imposed by the United States and the European Union, some
Western corporations continue to work with the SPDC military
Oil and gas in Burma
The Burmese military regime
relies to a large extent on foreign exchange to maintain its
power. Since Burma opened to foreign investment in late 1988,
contracted investment in the oil and gas sectors has reached
more than US $2.5 billion, making it the largest source of
foreign investment for the SPDC.
and gas exploration and production projects in Burma have one
thing in common: All must be undertaken in full cooperation with
the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
and the Shwe project.
is a fully state-owned enterprise within the SPDC's Ministry
of Energy. The Enterprise acts to oversee and reap profits from
oil and gas deals with foreign corporations. Thus, MOGE is also in charge of
overseeing the joint venture that is planning and executing the
According to some estimates, the Shwe Project
could generate between US $800 million to $3 billion
in annual revenues. This would be a considerable financial
injection into the brutal Burmese regime, indeed the country’s
largest source of foreign income. Foreign corporations involved
in the project would ultimately contribute to sustaining a
regime who’s record of large-scale human rights abuses is
widely known and condemned.
Moreover, the SPDC continues to
invest in expanding its armed
forces, currently the largest
per-capita in Southeast Asia, by using profits reaped through
such deals to supply its
armed forces instead of investing in the welfare of its people.
Ultimately, if the Shwe Project is allowed to proceed unchecked,
the suffering of the Burmese people under the military regime
will not only continue, but become more entrenched.
 Economic Collaboration with
Foreign Entrepreneurs – Joint Venture Enterprises
Business in Myanmar
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre – Burma