Barkan Mounting Systems, a manufacturer of mounting systems for consumer electronics, relocated its factory from the industrial zone of Ariel, an illegal settlement in the West Bank
Barkan Mounting Systems, a manufacturer of mounting systems for consumer electronics, closed its factory in the industrial zone of Ariel, an illegal settlement in the West Bank. Earlier this week, the owner of the company, Mr. Lior Barkan, notified the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) in an e-mail that “the factory in the [occupied] territories was closed, all the production was relocated to China”.
The company has announced its withdrawal from the oPt a few weeks after the minister of trade and industry of South Africa stated that he intends to require to label settlements produce as such. A few days later, the Danish foreign minister stated that Denmark will begin labelling imported products for all goods from West Bank settlements.
However, an investigation carried out by Who Profits from the Occupation, a research project of CWP, shows that Barkan hasn’t relocated all of its commercial activity from the oPt; While the production has indeed been moved to China, a representative of the company confirmed, in a conversation with Who Profits, that company Office remain in Barkan Industrial zone, near the settlement of Ariel.
This announcement is added to a letter sent to Who Profits in February 2012 from Mul-T-Lock (formerly Rav-Bariach), a public Israeli company which manufactures locks and cylinders for security doors. The company, a subsidiary of the Swedish group Assa Abloy, stated it no longer conducts any activities in the Industrial zone of the Barkan settlement in the occupied West Bank.
An activist of CWP argued: “Production in illegal settlements is made particularly profitable due to governmental subsidies and policies of economic privilege. However, as global discontent regarding Israel’s settlement expansion policy is mounting, practical economic measures are starting to take the place of diplomatic efforts. This form of economic pressure may explain the recent decision of Barkan Mounting Systems to relocate its endeavours, and we expect many other companies to follow”
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