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No Boycott

THERE is little chance of a boycott of Australian goods by Arab countries in retaliation for Canberra’s support of the US policy on Iraq, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation has stated in its latest Market Watch report. Responding to numerous queries from readers, the EFIC said the likelihood of a boycott was slim.

“All neighbouring governments are ill-disposed towards Hussein, even if they worry at the same time about the instability a war might trigger,” Market Watch says.

“While government boycotts can be ruled out, grass-roots ones are a slight risk. Regional boycotts of selected Western imports began in September 2000 following the al-Aqsa intifada and could flare up again as war looms.

“Already McDonald’s stores in Bahrain and Oman have been attacked and some Bahraini supermarkets have removed US brands from their shelves.

“Still, the targets of any further boycotts are likely to be highly visible consumer brands such as Burger King, Coca-Cola, KFC, McDonald’s, Nestle and Starbucks.

“Other products, including Australian ones, should benefit from the long shadows these brands – and Uncle Sam – cast.”

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