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SGS sues Pakistani government for $120 million

SGS say they want their money back after the Pakistani government cancelled a goods inspection contract


The Geneva-based certification company, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), is suing the Pakistani government over a breach of contract.

SGS is demanding $120 million (SFr190 million) in damages after Pakistan cancelled a goods inspection contract prematurely. "We want our money back," SGS spokesman, Jean-Luc de Buman, was quoted as saying.

The company said it had filed the case with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington on April 25. The tribunal - which is under the authority of the World Bank - has appointed three judges to examine the charge.

The case dates back to 1996 when a deal was signed between SGS and the then Pakistani government, led by Benazir Bhutto. Shortly afterwards, the new Pakistani government cancelled its contract with SGS, three years before it was due to end.

SGS has already sued the Pakistani government - in April 2001 - asking for $329 million. "The two cases are not linked," said de Buman, "and the first one is still under consideration."

SGS ended 2001 with a loss of SFr75 million. Turnover was down 1.6 per cent at SFr2.3 billion.

swissinfo with agencies

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