U.S. requires transparency from Myanmar

May 24, 2013 at 5:51 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it imposed requirements on U.S. investors who do more than $500,000 worth of business in the energy sector of Myanmar.

The Office of Management and Budget announced that U.S. entities that have new net investments of more than $500,000 need to report on policies and procedures in Myanmar by July 1. The reporting requirements extend to human rights, corruption and any arrangements with security service personnel.

The U.S. State Department said the requirements extend notably to those investments made with the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise and any contact made with the military or non-state armed groups.

The State Department said it would use the information to assist U.S. businesses with the development of sound business practices in Myanmar, known also as Burma.

"The United States supports the Burmese government's ongoing reform efforts and believes that the participation of U.S. businesses in Burma's economy can be a model for responsible investment and business operations, encouraging further change, promoting inclusive economic development, and contributing to the welfare of the Burmese people," the State Department said.

Myanmar committed to work on transparency and anti-corruption measures. Revenue Watch Institute gave Myanmar its lowest rank in its latest report on transparency in the extractive industries.

Sanctions have eased on Myanmar as the country takes steps toward democratic reform. Human rights group say it was sanctions that encouraged reforms in the first place.

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