BIO's response to the articles published by CNCD 11.11.11 on BIO's investment in PHC (Feronia)
On 13 March 2023, CNCD-11.11.11, the umbrella organisation for French-speaking NGOs in Belgium, published two articles on BIO’s investment in Plantations et Huileries du Congo. The articles, entitled “Feronia : après le retrait de la Belgique, place à la réforme de BIO” and “Feronia : quelles leçons tirer de l’investissement belge ?”, give CNCD 11.11.11’s interpretation of BIO’s investment cycle in this project, from approval to exit. On several essential items, BIO’s perspective differs from CNCD 11.11.11’s interpretation.
We refer anyone interested in this project to our website, where the information on this investment is available; more particularly
- the development goals at the time of project approval;
- the restructuring of the company Feronia, for which we refer to BIO’s statement on 30 November 2020, as well as
- the joint statement of BII, BIO, DEG, and FMO in response to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on Feronia in DRC
CNCD-11.11.11’s articles take a very critical look at BIO’s investment strategy. However, they also provide several ideas, suggestions and recommendations that deserve consideration and discussion.
We appreciate civil society’s interest and efforts to question BIO’s approach in order to identify improvement areas. BIO is an organisation working with public funds, dialogue with stakeholders and civil society is therefore important. What’s more, in 2022, BIO organised three workshops with the NGOs on common themes such as gender, decent work, and climate.
Along those lines, BIO is happy to have a critical and constructive dialogue with the NGOs, civil society, the federal parliament, and the cabinet of Minister Gennez in view of the new management contract 2024-2028.
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