US relaxes investment ban on Myanmar, names new envoy

US relaxes investment ban on Myanmar, names new envoy

Launching a new chapter in its ties with Myanmar, the US has announced relaxing investment restrictions to support democratic and economic reforms there and named its first ambassador to the Southeast Asian country in 22 years.

The Obama administration announced the move on Thursday which received mixed reactions from the US lawmakers and many human rights bodies, prompting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask American businesses to invest in Burma responsibly and be an agent of positive change.

“We say to American business, invest in Burma and do it responsibly; be an agent of positive change and be a good corporate citizen; let’s all work together to create jobs, opportunity, and support reform,” Clinton said at a joint media appearance with the visiting Burmese Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin.

The US will issue a general licence that will enable American businesses to invest across the economy, allow citizens access to international credit markets and dollar-based transactions, she said.

Clinton argued these are important steps that will help bring the country into the global economy, spur broad-based economic development and support the ongoing reforms. “We expect our businesses to create a grievance process that will be accessible to local communities; to demonstrate appropriate treatment of employees, respect for the environment; to be a good corporate citizen; and to promote equitable, sustainable development that will benefit the people,” she added.

The US also announced to nominate senior American diplomat Derek J Mitchell as his new Ambassador to Myanmar.

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