IFC, Deutsche Bank respond to Global Witness report | Connect Asia

IFC, Deutsche Bank respond to Global Witness report

IFC, Deutsche Bank respond to Global Witness report

Updated 14 May 2013, 15:03 AEST

On May 13, we ran an interview with London-based NGO Global Witness accusing the Deutsche Bank and the International Finance Corporation of financing two Vietnamese rubber companies that are allegedly involved in land grabs in Cambodia and Laos.

The details are outlined in a report called 'Rubber Barons' which looks at investments in the companies Hoang Anh Gia Lai and the state-owned Vietnam Rubber Group.

We asked both banks for a response and invited them on to the show to explain their positions. Both declined to be interviewed but sent these statements:

Michael West, Managing Director / Head of Communications, Asia Pacific:

"Deutsche Bank does not provide financing to Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL), Dong Phu Rubber or Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG). The DWS fund shares referred to are held on behalf of investors. Deutsche Bank provides clerical trustee services to HAGL which is a listed company as it does to thousands of publicly listed companies globally"

Hannfried von Hindenburg, Head of Communications for IFC in East Asia and the Pacific:

"IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, works with financial intermediaries, such as funds, because they can contribute to inclusive and sustainable financial markets that are essential to eradicating poverty and job creation. The multiplier effect of fund investments enables us to support far more enterprises critical to development than we would be able to on our own.

IFC's approach to environmental and social risk management when working with funds is to help build the capacity of the fund managers so that they themselves can assess and mitigate their own environmental and social risks. In line with this approach, we have helped and continue to help fund manger Dragon Capital put an environmental and social monitoring system in place that allows them to conduct their own due-diligence and monitoring of their funds' investments.

The World Bank Group shares concerns over large-scale land acquisitions anywhere and believes securing access to land for poor people around the globe is critical for development. IFC will carefully study the findings of the Global Witness research and taking this research into consideration is part of our ongoing monitoring of our investments in Dragon Capital and VEIL."

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