US lifts economic sanctions on Myanmar

US lifts economic sanctions on Myanmar

Washington, Oct 8 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has issued an executive order to lift economic sanctions on Myanmar.

The move came on Friday after 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 last month, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a letter to Congress, Obama said he has determined that “it is necessary to terminate the national emergency” with regard to Myanmar.

“I have determined that the situation that gave rise to the national emergency with respect to Burma (Myanmar) has been significantly altered by Burma’s (Myanmar’s) substantial advances to promote democracy,” Obama said.

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economic and financial sanctions administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control were no longer in effect.

Myanmar has made significant strides in recent years, “including choosing a civilian-led, democratically elected government”, said Adam Szubin, acting US Under Secretary of Treasury.

“Lifting economic and financial sanctions will further support trade and economic growth, and 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,” Szubin said.

Last month, Obama announced his intention to reinstate preferential treatment for Myanmar under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, a preferential tariff system.

In May, the US lifted some of the sanctions on Myanmar to show support for the country’s political reforms and economic growth and to facilitate trade between the two sides.

The move 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.

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