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Doing Business in Burma

Getting Started

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. Increasing U.S. trade and investment in Burma – a key priority for the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon – brings substantial benefits both countries.

In response to the political reforms undertaken by President Thein Sein’s government, the United States has waived virtually all of its economic sanctions on Burma, with the exception of the Specially Designated Nationals list, the import of Burmese-origin jade and rubies, and certain travel restrictions. These policy changes opened the door for U.S. businesses to trade and invest in Burma. 

The United States remains concerned about the protection of human rights, corruption, and the role of the military in the Burmese economy. A key element of U.S. policy is that we are not authorizing new investment with the Burmese Ministry of Defense, state or non-state armed groups (which includes the military), or entities owned 50 percent or more by any of the foregoing.

Nevertheless, the core legal authorities underlying our sanctions remain in place. U.S. persons are still prohibited from dealing with blocked persons, including both listed Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) as well as any entities owned 50 percent or more by an SDN. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) publishes a list of SDNs available here.

For an excellent overview of doing business in Burma, please click on the following link which will take you to the 2014 Country Commercial Guide for Burma.

U.S. Commercial Service


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