British-Dutch oil giant Shell is considering pulling out of Zimbabwe, British paper The Observer has revealed. If it does so, it would be the first multinational company to boycott the country in protest over the regime's violations of democracy.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell may pull out of operations in Zimbabwe, the Observer newspaper reported Sunday.
The report comes after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month called for businesses to look carefully at their involvement in the country, riven by violence over the disputed re-election of President Robert Mugabe.
Shell has a shareholding in a small retail joint venture operated by rival BP, the company told the newspaper in a statement. The firms reportedly supply 74 petrol stations in Zimbabwe.
The statement added that it was "currently reviewing our position".
An unnamed source at the global firm, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, quoted by the newspaper added that it was "actively looking for a new solution".
Firms including supermarket chain Tesco have already said they will stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe while the instability continues.
Brown told the House of Commons in June: "We do not want to do further damage to the Zimbabwean people, but when businesses are helping the Mugabe regime, they should reconsider their positions."
Britain, the former colonial power, is the largest foreign investor in Zimbabwe, according to a study by London-based analysts Ethical Investment Research Services quoted by the paper.
Date created : 2008-07-06