Washington has eased some sanctions on Myanmar to support political reforms in the Asian nation, where landmark polls took place last year that led to a democratically-elected government taking office.
The Obama administration, however, stopped short of broader action due to concerns about the extent of military influence over the Myanmar government and the country’s treatment of minorities, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Under the sanctions changes announced Tuesday, restrictions were eased on Myanmar financial institutions and seven state-owned firms were removed from a US blacklist.
A license issued in December allowing companies to trade using infrastructure controlled by blacklisted individuals and entities was extended permanently.
“In terms of the day-to-day doing business, it makes it easier because it clears all the problems that were unintended consequences of the sanctions, but the major roadblocks still remain,” Anthony Nelson, director at the US-ASEAN Business Council, told the Journal.
The limited sanctions relief, which will take effect Wednesday, came after a historic vote last year that led to former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s party coming to power.
“These steps will help to facilitate trade with non-sanctioned businesses and, in turn, help the people and government of Burma achieve a more inclusive and prosperous future,” Adam Szubin, acting Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, was quoted as saying.
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