The United States says it does not seek to curtail legitimate business and responsible investment in Burma.
On February 1, 2021, Myanmar (formerly Burma) military overthrew the country’s democratically elected civilian government in a coup d’etat. Since then, according to the U.S. Department of State, the military has killed more than 1,400 innocent people, unjustly arrested political leaders and journalists, violently disbanded labor unions, and committed egregious human rights abuses against the people of Burma. These acts are an attack on the people of Burma and a rejection of their will, as expressed in Burma’s November 2020 general elections.
The coup and subsequent military-led abuses have severely damaged Burma’s economic and business environment, reversing the gains achieved over the course of Burma’s ten-year transition towards democracy, and resulting in an unpredictable business environment in which the military extracts revenue to support its violent repression of democracy.
The U.S. Departments State, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, the Treasury, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued an advisory on January 26 to inform individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and other persons — including investors, consultants, and research service providers — of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma, and particularly business activity that could benefit the Burmese military regime.
The United States says it does not seek to curtail legitimate business and responsible investment in Burma. However, businesses and individuals should be wary of the associated illicit finance and money laundering risks, as well as reputational and legal risks, of conducting business and utilizing supply chains under military control in Burma.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the military regime has undermined the rule of law, facilitated widespread corruption, and committed serious human rights abuses, which exacerbate risks to foreign businesses operating in Burma or providing financial services to Burmese businesses.
These industries have been identified as primary industries providing economic resources for Burma’s military regime:
Gems and precious metals
Real-estate and construction projects
Arms, military equipment, and related activity
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in, operations or supply chains tied to the military regime that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of engaging in conduct that may expose them to significant reputational, financial, and legal risks, including violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions, as well as abetting human rights abuses.
“This business advisory is another example of the United States’ strong commitment to the people of Burma,” said Ned Price, the U.S. State Department Spokesperson. “The United States will continue to work with our partners and allies to promote justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities, and to press the regime to cease the violence, release all those unjustly detained, cease human rights abuses, and restore multiparty democracy and Burma’s democratic transition.”
Support RMN News Service for Independent Fearless Journalism
In today’s media world controlled by corporates and politicians, it is extremely difficult for independent editorial voices to survive. Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service has been maintaining editorial freedom and offering objective content for the past more than 12 years despite enormous pressures and extreme threats. In order to serve you fearlessly in this cut-throat world, RMN News Service urges you to support us financially with your donations. You may please click here and choose the amount that you want to donate. Thank You. Rakesh Raman, Editor, RMN News Service.