Multinational corporations vs local farmers

When we think of MNCs, we think of richer, developed countries exploiting the poorer, less developed countries.

This may no longer be the case as MNCs from developed countries are under the scrutiny of the media and their respective governments while MNCs from emerging economies like China, South Africa and Russia may not face the same pressure from their government and the public to ensure human rights are protected in the countries they invest projects in. Sometimes, the governments themselves work with the MNCs at the expense of the needs of their own people.

When you think of the worst abuses in poor countries — land grabs, sweatshops, cash-filled envelopes passed to politicians — you probably think they’re committed by companies based in rich ones: Nike in Indonesia, Shell in Nigeria, Dow in Bhopal, India.

These are the cases you’re most likely to hear about, but they are no longer representative of how these abuses actually take place — or who commits them.These days, the worst multinational corporations have names you’ve never heard. They come from places like China and South Africa and Russia. The countries where they are headquartered are unable to regulate them, and the countries where they operate are unwilling to.

Read the Foreign Policy article to find out more about how land grabs from a Zimbabwean MNC, Green Fuel, has affected the lives of local farmers. This is just one case of many.



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