Myanmar Research | Consulting | Technology
The USA imposed probably the strictest sanctions against Myanmar’s former military regime and those close to it. However, the country is now gradually removing these sanctions with some investment and financial bans expected to be lifted soon. The sanctions were imposed by the USA step by step, rather than in one act and include:
• Prohibition of imports from Myanmar since 2003, including a later ban on import of
Myanmar rubies and jadeite even if the latter have been significantly transformed
in a third country (since July 2008). This prohibition has particularly hurt the
garments industry in Myanmar for which USA was a large export market; however,
jewelry companies in the USA were also hurt by the ban on import of rubies since
Myanmar ones are considered the best in terms of quality.
• Prohibition of export of financial services to Myanmar from the USA and by US
persons wherever located since 2003. This has prompted many US banks and
international payment card systems to leave Myanmar.
The USA lifted financial restrictions on not-for-profit activities including in
health, education, good governance and other non-commercial
development activities in April 2012.
• Prohibition of new investment by US companies in Myanmar since May 1997.
Any American company that made investment before 1997 could continue
operations in the country; however, some companies that made investment
before the ban still left.
• Ban on US support for loans to Myanmar from international organizations,
in effect since 2003.
This ban was partially lifted in February 2012 when the USA allowed
international financial organizations to hold assessment missions and
provide technical assistance to Myanmar.
• Asset freeze against Myanmar officials and designated Myanmar entities,
in effect since 2003
• Ban on travels to the USA of Myanmar government officials and “designated
Burmese entities responsible for human rights abuses and public corruption, as
well as designated individuals and entities that provide material or financial support
to designated individuals or the Burmese military government” enacted in 2003 (the
list has been expanded several times consequently). The use of “Burmese” in the
US legal acts reflects the US political opposition to the change of the country’s
name to “Myanmar”.
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