The next global company is leaving Myanmar: After the energy giants Total Energies and Chevron, the Australian gas and oil company Woodside Petroleum is also leaving.

Others, like Malaysia's Petronas, are declaring "technical issues" to freeze production.

Big companies such as Sumitomo, Deutsche Post DHL, Posco, the Kirin brewery and the Shangri-La hotel chain continue to operate in former Burma.

Christopher Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia/Pacific based in Singapore.

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"We've been a responsible foreign investor in Myanmar since 2013," new Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill said Thursday. "Given the current situation in Myanmar, we can no longer consider Woodside's involvement in gas development or other future activities in the country." The gas produced in Myanmar was for local consumption and supplies to neighboring Thailand and China thought. The military government needs the income from the natural resources to finance itself.

At the end of February last year, the Australians had already suspended their operations in Myanmar "due to the deteriorating human rights situation".

Now they are leaving what was once the richest country in Southeast Asia.

The generals staged a coup there at the beginning of February and have been holding Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in prison as elected state councilor ever since.

Woodside sits on several contracts with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The Australians investigated deposits off the coast of Rakhine State together with the BG Group, which now belongs to Shell, the South Korean Daewoo International and Total.

The withdrawal results in a $138 million write-down for Woodside over the past year.

Add to that $71 million for lost investments in field exploration.

All in all, the trust in a peaceful reconstruction in Myanmar costs Woodside almost a quarter billion dollars.

The World Bank estimates that Myanmar will grow by no more than 1 percent this fiscal year (September 30).

In the past twelve months, economic output had melted by 18 percent.

Human rights activist Debbie Stothard pointed out on Thursday that "the economic situation is in total chaos".

More than 80 percent of the people lived in poverty, 80 percent of the banks remained closed and funds worth around 15 percent of economic output remained frozen in America.

"The coup failed," she concludes.

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