US President Barack Obama on Wednesday authorized US companies to invest in Myanmar for the first time in about 15 years, including with a state-run oil firm that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged multinationals to avoid.
The licenses to invest and provide financial services will require companies to submit detailed annual disclosure forms, according to a joint statement by the State and Treasury departments. Ventures with the Defense Ministry and individuals blocked under the sanctions regime, including businesses connected with Myanmar’s former junta, remain off limits.
“Easing sanctions is a strong signal of our support for reform, and will provide immediate incentives for reformers and significant benefits to the people of Burma,” Obama said in a statement Wednesday, referring to the country by its former name. He also issued an order that allows for punitive measures on individuals who hinder the country’s shift to democracy.