WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Months before planners hold an oil and gas exhibit there, the U.S. government said it was opening the economic doors for a reforming Myanmar.
U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi -- the country's de factor leader -- at the White House, announcing his government was ready to lift sanctions on the country known also as Burma.
"It is the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government," he said in remarks alongside the foreign minister.
Global energy companies have shown a greater interest in Myanmar since military rule ended in the country with general elections in 2010. Last year, Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co., a subsidiary of Chevron, signed a production sharing contract with its counterparts in Myanmar to explore for oil and gas in the Rakhine basin off the northwest coast of Myanmar.
Billed as the "hottest ticket" in the global oil and gas industry, planners in Myanmar are getting ready for a January oil and gas exhibition that would feature guests from the civilian government to industry leaders from companies like French supermajor Total.
Total holds a minority stake in a gas field off the coast of Myanmar that supplies Thailand's market and meets about half of the domestic demand. The company said it is "actively pursuing" deepwater opportunities in Myanmar.
In her remarks, Suu Kyi said the end of U.S. sanctions will help the country develop its material resources.
"We think that the time has now come to remove all the sanctions that hurt us economically, because our country is in a position to open up to those who are interested in taking part in our economic enterprises," she aid.