US relaxes more Myanmar sanctions

In what appears to be its most concrete reward yet for ongoing reforms in Myanmar, the United States has issued a waiver allowing certain financial transactions that support nonprofit development and humanitarian work in the Asian country.

The waiver, issued April 17 by the U.S. Treasury Department, covers transactions involving good governance and democracy projects, sporting and education programs, religious activities and others that aim to meet “basic human needs,” news agencies report. Restrictions on new investments or exporting of financial services to Myanmar remain in place.

The move was “in response to what we viewed as very positive parliamentary elections,” Mark Toner, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Departmentsaid in a news briefing. The United States has previously announced plans to name an ambassador to the country and re-establish a local U.S. Agency for International Development office. Toner said the U.S. government will consider additional measures pending further reforms in Myanmar.

This decision by the United States is the latest in a series of efforts by several donors to reward recent pro-democracy reforms in Myanmar and encourage its government to implement further changes. In a speech to the European Parliament delivered Tuesday (April 17), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton hinted the bloc would ease sanctions on Myanmar further as well.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.