Japanese carmaker Suzuki has suspended production at its two factories in Burma indefinitely after the country’s military coup on Monday, a spokesperson for the group told AFP on Tuesday.
“We stopped our operations yesterday (Monday) afternoon. For the time being, we are monitoring the development of the situation ”, explained this spokesperson, adding that it was“ difficult ”for the moment to know when the local activity of the group could restart.
Suzuki has two car factories in Burma, where it has been established since the late 1990s, and the group announced last year an investment of 12 billion yen (nearly 100 million euros) to build a third site there. production, which was supposed to become operational from September of this year.
The two factories, which employ 400 people in total, mainly serve the very small Burmese market in which the Japanese group dominates automotive sales.
Several hundred other Japanese companies are established in the country, in many sectors.
Brewer Kirin, for example, is regularly criticized by human rights organizations for operating two breweries in Burma in joint ventures with a holding company controlled by the country’s military.
Last year, a consortium of Japanese companies (Sumitomo Corp., Marubeni and Mitsui & Co) also won a contract to build and operate a major gas power station in Burma, planning to invest around $ 2 billion.
The Japanese government on Monday urged the Burmese military to release Aung San Suu Kyi and restore democracy, as the military arrested key civilian government officials, of which she is the de facto head, and declared a state of emergency for one year.