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US govt eases sanctions

Last week the US government eased some of the financial and investment sanctions on Myanmar to allow the first new US investment in the country in nearly 15 years, and to broadly authorise the exportation of financial services to Myanmar.

The US State Department website says its change in sanctions policy is aimed at supporting democratic reform and reconciliation efforts while aiding in development that provides benefits to all of Myanmar’s people.

The website says the US believes that the participation of American businesses in the country’s economy will set a model for responsible investment as well as encourage further change and promote economic development.

The website goes on to say that the US “remains concerned about the protection of human rights, corruption, and the role of the military in the Burmese economy”.

The US is not authorising new investment with the Ministry of Defence, state or non-state armed groups, or entities owned by them.

US persons are still prohibited from dealing with blocked persons, including both listed Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) as well as any entities 50 per cent or more owned by an SDN.

Individuals or companies undertaking new investment with the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise must notify the State Department within 60 days of their new investment.

General Electric (GE) inked a deal to provide $2 million worth of hospital equipment to two private hospitals in Myanmar on Saturday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Winchester at rupert.winchester@phnompenhpost.com

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