Except Brunei, all countries in the ASEAN region have an American Chamber of Commerce
(AmCham) country chapter that has increasingly become a champion for the tobacco industry. With governments in South East Asia enacting strong regulations and curbing promotional activities of the tobacco industry, AmCham has stepped in to become one of its voices and conduct activities promoting the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry has found a strategic ally in AmCham because it is a high profile business institution, well regarded by governments, is in the forefront of activities
involving high-level US state officials visits to Asia, and has close relationships with US ambassadors in various countries. Consequently, it has access to top Asian government leadership, thereby making it an ideal avenue for the tobacco industry to promote itself.
AmCham is an accredited federation member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) with access to all their services and privileges.1 AmCham declares seven values its membership should abide by,2 including respect for
the individual and environmentally responsible business practices, which the tobacco industry is unable to comply with. Although the tobacco industrys business runs contrary to AmCham’s values, Philip Morris International (PMI) and its business partners are prominent and active members of AmCham. PMI conducts corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities via AmCham, holds a position in the AmCham Board, and sits in the AmCham committee that looks into customs/tax issues. This provides opportunities for PMI to pose challenges or undermine national tobacco control efforts.
This handout illustrates how the tobacco industry uses the AmCham in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam to promote its activities and utilizes AmChams access to US
embassies and high level policy makers.
(Click below to viewfull report)
|AMCHAM Hand out(2.4mb)|