Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Nearly a decade after imposing ban on Myanmarese imports, the United States on Friday lifted most of the restrictions just two days before President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to the Southeast Asian nation.
The gems sector remained the only exception since the world’s largest economy sees it as a major source of corruption and violence.
The Obama administration, in a statement, said that the move is aimed at supporting the reformist Myanmarese government for further change. It is also intended to offer new business opportunities for American and Myanmarese entrepreneurs.
The State Department and Treasury Department issued the statement, which stated that both President Thein Sein and opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi backed the move to “further integrate Myanmar into the global economy.”
The announcement came nearly two months after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised Myanmarese leader Sein to normalize trade ties with the Southeast Asian nation. The statement further expressed concerns over corruption, ethnic conflict and detention of political prisoners, who are still being held up in Myanmarese jails.
Myanmar’s growing military ties with what U.S. called a rogue state – North Korea – also concerns the Obama administration.