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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, has launched an internal investigation into a complaint lodged against the institution for investing in a Vietnamese rubber firm accused of illegal logging and land grabbing in Ratanakkiri, an NGO and a villager said last week, according to Cambodian media reports.

Earlier in April, representatives of the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) met with leaders from 17 indigenous communities in Andong Meas and O’Chum districts, along with representatives of Vietnam-based Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), which operates rubber plantations on economic land concessions in the Kingdom’s northeast, according to Eang Vuthy, executive director at NGO Equitable Cambodia.

The IFC is accused of supporting HAGL’s actions by investing millions through an intermediary fund called Dragon Capital Group since 2002.

Last year, HAGL came under fire after UK-based NGO Global Witness published a report accusing the rubber giant of illegally logging outside concession areas and being in possession of at least 47,000 hectares of economic land concessions — almost five times the legal limit.

Resource from Myanmar First Bilingual Business Journal May 1,2014