US lifts economic sanctions on Myanmar

Oct 8, 2016 10:03 IST

The U.S. on 7 October 2016 lifted sanctions against Myanmar that have been in place for nearly two decades.

The move came after President Barack Obama’s announcement that the US was ready to lift sanctions on the Asian country during Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Washington in September 2016.

As a result of Obama’s announcement, the Treasury Department stated that the economic and financial sanctions administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control were no longer in effect.

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How the lifting of sanctions will help Myanmar?

Lifting economic and financial sanctions will support trade and economic growth in Myanmar.

Treasury will continue to work with Burma to implement a robust anti-money laundering regime that will help to ensure the security of its financial system.

The step eased restrictions on Myanmar’s financial institutions, allowed certain transactions related to US individuals living in the country, and removed seven state-owned enterprises and three state-owned banks from the US blacklist.

Background

The Government of Myanmar was under economic sanctions by the US Treasury Department (31 CFR Part 537, 16 August 2005) and by Executive orders 13047 (1997), 13310 (2003), 13448 (2007), 13464 (2008), and the most recent 13619 (2012).

From May 2012 to February 2013, the United States began to lift its economic sanctions on Myanmar in response to the historic reforms that have been taking place in that country.

However, sanctions remained in place for blocked banks and for any business entities that are more than 50% owned by persons on OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list.

During her first official visit to Washington, D.C. in September 2016, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with US President Barack Obama, who announced that long-standing trade sanctions against Myanmar are to be lifted.

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