28 November 2010
The charity and NGO, ActionAid, has this week published a report on SABMiller's tax affairs. It makes a number of allegations, all of which we reject very strongly - the details of our formal response can be found here.
While compliance with tax laws underpins all of our corporate governance practices, to focus solely on tax issues detracts from the broader economic impact that companies can have in developing markets. Find out more about our economic contribution to society on pages 10 and 11 of our 2010 Sustainable Development Report available here.
We are very proud of our record in investing in Africa. In 2009/10 we invested more than US$500 million in Africa and further expanded our operations with new breweries or acquisitions in Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.
But our economic impact goes beyond this investment. For example, a report by Ethan Kapstein in 2009 assessed the socio-economic impact of our business in Uganda and it found that for every person we employ another 100 jobs are generated in the broader economy. The report also showed that in 2007 Nile Breweries and its employees were directly or indirectly responsible for generating value added of US$92M - value added incorporates salaries paid to households, taxes paid to the government, company profits, household savings and dividends.
We believe that good business is good for development - so long as companies operate in a responsible and accountable manner. For us a healthy, growing economic environment in the communities where we operate is the key to achieving business success. We will continue to invest in Africa and continue to have a positive impact on the economies in which we operate.
We believe that everyone - businesses, governments and campaign groups - should have a shared agenda to reduce poverty and improve quality of life. We want to engage with anyone who shares our commitment to Africa and have an open debate about the best ways to do this.
We are also committed to behaving in a transparent and ethical way. Engaging in open debate is an important part of this and with that in mind we invite your comments below.