The Council on Ethics recommends that AviChina Industry & Technology Co Ltd (AviChina) be excluded from investment by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) due to an unacceptable risk that the company sells weapons to a state that uses the weapons in ways that constitute serious and systematic violations of international humanitarian law. The background for this recommendation is the sale of light combat aircraft to the Government of Myanmar.
AviChina is a Chinese company that engages in the development and sale of aircraft and aviation products. In December 2021, several light combat aircrafts, of the type K-8, were delivered to the armed forced in Myanmar. The aircrafts are thought to have been produced by a company AviChina controls. It has been reported that such aircrafts have previously been used in combat in Myanmar.
Both before and after the coup in 2021, the armed forces have perpetrated extremely serious abuses against the civilian population, with, among other things, combat aircrafts, according to several international institutions. The attacks have been numerous and, in the Council’s view, constitute serious and systematic violations of international law. This information has long been in the public domain, and the Council takes the position that anyone selling weapons to Myanmar since 2018 should have understood that they could be used in violation of international law.
When assessing the risk of the company’s potential contribution to new abuses forward in time, the Council has attached importance to the fact that the company delivered aircrafts to Myanmar despite the military coup and the information concerning the military’s abuses. The company has not responded to the Council’s queries.
The Council on Ethics issued its recommendation on exclusion on 23 August 2022. Norges Bank announced its decision to exclude the company on 24 January 2023.