Date lodged: 12 May 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on Amnesty International’s allegation that one of China Railway Group’s subsidiaries was involved in illegal forced evictions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and whether the Scottish Government will take this into consideration in deciding how to proceed following its signing a memorandum of understanding with China Railway No.3 Engineering Group and SinoFortone on 21 March 2016.
Answered by: Keith Brown 31 May 2016
As the memorandum of understanding does not involve any legal, contractual or funding obligations or commitments on behalf of the Scottish Government full due diligence was not undertaken prior to the signing of the memorandum. The Scottish Government was therefore not aware that the Council of Ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global had recommended in 2014 that China Rail Group Ltd, the parent company of China Railway No.3 Engineering Group, be excluded from the investment universe of the fund. Nor was it aware of Amnesty International’s allegation that the Congo International Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of China Railway Group, was involved in illegal forced evictions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the event of any specific investment proposals being confirmed or any proposals for legal or contractual agreements being brought forward both reports will be considered as part of the full due diligence that will take place.