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LONDON: Myanmar President Thein Sein today urged the west to lift all sanctions against his country as it seeks to implement a second wave of economic reforms.
“It is extremely important that sanctions be lifted — both financial and other economic sanctions — to make possible the sort of trade and investments that this country desperately needs at this time,” he told the Financial Times.
Speaking to the paper from his presidential palace in Naypyidaw, Sein vowed to oversee a “second wave” of economic reforms and also rejected claims that the army still held power over the government.
The United States on Wednesday gave the green light to companies to invest in Myanmar including in oil and gas, in its broadest and most controversial easing yet of sanctions on the former pariah.
Hours after the arrival in Myanmar of the first US ambassador in two decades, President Barack Obama announced the latest gesture in recognition of reforms in a nation dominated by the military since 1962.
Obama’s move marked a divergence from Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning opposition leader, who has warned foreign firms not to form partnerships with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, or MOGE.
Under the new rules, US companies will have the right to enter into business with MOGE but must notify the State Department within 60 days.
Myanmar’s parliament is considering a new investment law and a series of other measures aimed at liberalizing the economy, which was left in tatters by decades of mismanagement, cronyism and isolation under the junta. -- AFP