Shadow Operations: Italy's Steel Secret in Myanmar

DanieliImage Source: SteelGuru


Italian steel company Danieli is under fire for its covert operations in Myanmar. Activists and advocacy groups accuse the company of lacking transparency and accountability, possibly violating international business ethics and EU sanctions. The company has had longstanding ties with Myanmar, including associations with the military junta, raising concerns about human rights abuses.


A cloud of scrutiny looms over Italian steel giant Danieli, as allegations regarding its covert operations in Myanmar gain momentum. The company, with a reported revenue of over $4 billion, is now under investigation for its involvement with the military regime in the Southeast Asian nation. Activist groups like Italia-Birmania Insieme have urged for a thorough probe into the firm's operations.

The inquiry gains traction from a report presented at Italy's parliament which questions Danieli's relationship with Myanmar's military. Further heat was added when Amnesty International pointed out that the company failed to disclose its activities in Myanmar on its website. This has led to questions about whether Danieli's actions align with international business and human rights standards.

Another sore point in this controversy is Danieli's decades-old relationship with Myanmar. The firm set up the country's first steel mill in 1979 under a dictatorship and re-registered its operations after the 2021 military coup. This longstanding association puts the company's business ethics under the spotlight, with accusations that it has indirectly endorsed human rights violations and corruption.

Concerns also exist around Danieli's involvement in recommissioning the No. 1 Steel Mill in Myingyan Township. The project received acknowledgment from junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, further cementing suspicions of the company's ties to the military regime. Such affiliations raise questions about whether Danieli has violated EU sanctions and other international regulations.

What's alarming is that Danieli is alleged to have worked with entities like the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), which has been targeted by international sanctions. Moreover, the company has been implicated in environmental degradation and land confiscation, as part of its project in southern Shan State.

Lack of transparency continues to be the crux of the issue. While Danieli maintains a secretive stance, not revealing any public data about its contracts or partners, international bodies and activists continue to call for more accountability. Failure to adhere to international laws could not only tarnish Danieli's reputation but also put it at odds with various international sanctions.

Italian authorities are now at a crossroads. As the allegations mount, they must decide whether to prioritize corporate interests over ethical considerations. The situation demands immediate and transparent actions to prevent companies like Danieli from strengthening dictatorships and contributing to human rights abuses.


The unfolding story of Danieli's operations in Myanmar serves as a cautionary tale for multinational corporations. Transparency and adherence to international standards aren't optional but imperative for ethical business operations. Italian authorities and international bodies must act swiftly to resolve these serious allegations and ensure that businesses do not become enablers of oppression.

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