Rubber boom leads to land seizures in south-east Asia
ERJ staff report (LMH)
Phnom Penh, Vietnam – Vietnamese rubber firms funded by a branch of the World Bank and Germany’s Deutsche Bank are leading a “land-grabbing crisis” in south-east Asia, according to activists, Free Malaysia Today reports.
Indigenous ethnic minorities are suffering the most from the seizures , which have affected thousands of villagers and led to the clearance of protected forests, according to campaign group Global Witness.
Free Malaysia Today said that Vietnam, the world’s third-largest rubber producer, is keen to exploit surging demand for the commodity. It reported that Global Witness accused two companies – Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Vietnam Rubber Group – causing forced evictions via subsidiaries linked to corrupt government officials in Cambodia and Laos.
The campaign group says Deutsche Bank has multi-million dollar holdings in both companies, while the International Finance Corp. – the private lending arm of the World Bank – invests in HAGL through financial intermediaries.
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Article from Free Malaysia Today