Taiwan shipping giant Evergreen Marine said on Thursday it would no longer send its ships to dock at a military-owned port terminal in Myanmar, as a growing number of companies cut ties with junta-linked businesses.
The Southeast Asian country has been in turmoil since the coup in February 2021, with more than 1,500 dead in a military crackdown on dissent according to a local monitoring group.
With the economy tanking and pressure mounting from rights groups, companies from British American Tobacco to Norway’s Telenor have left or are trying to leave.
Evergreen vessels had “occasionally” docked at the military-owned Hteedan port terminal in Yangon, the shipper said on Thursday, adding the arrangements had been made by a local partner.
It had since asked its partner to cancel that arrangement and had “received a confirmation… that with effect immediately Evergreen will no longer use Hteedan port terminal”.
The statement did not say when or why Evergreen had made the request or if it would still send vessels to other ports on the country.
The military has vested interests in large swathes of Myanmar’s economy, from mining to banking, oil and tourism. Junta-linked companies run three ports in commercial hub Yangon, according to Burma Campaign UK.
In 2020 global shipping giant Maersk announce it would stop using military-owned ports after a campaign against companies doing business with the military.
That campaign was sparked by a brutal crackdown on the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017 that particularly shocked the world and led to genocide charges at the UN’s top court.
- AFP, with additional editing by George Russell