BY | November 17, 2012

Washington, (IANS) The US Friday eased decade-old import restrictions on Myanmar goods just days before President Barack Obama sets foot on the Southeast Asian nation.

The Treasury Department said the move was taken to support the ongoing reform efforts in the nation, encourage “further change” and offer new opportunities for businesses in both countries, Xinhua reported.

As a result, the US will open up to most products from Myanmar under a waiver and general license with the exception of jadeite and rubies mined or extracted from the country, and jewelry containing them.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Sep 26 that Washington will begin the process of easing import ban put in place since 2003, in response to the advances made in the country’s reform efforts over the past year.

She made the pledge in her meeting in New York with Myanmar president U Thein Sein who has initiated a series of reform since taking office in March 2011.

The reforms included releasing hundreds of political prisoners, cease-fire agreements with ethnic groups, and holding parliamentary by-elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition party won a landslide victory.

Clinton travelled to Myanmar in December 2011, making her the first US secretary of state to visit the country in 56 years.

Washington restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar and ended sanctions on investment there in July. And Obama himself will travel there Monday, the first to do so by a sitting US president.

RELATED

Immigration reform 2014 news: Will Obama take unilateral stand? Immigration reform continues to surface in the US. The issue once again emanated this week following reports that President Barack Obama may be ready to ease up on deportations.   But he won’t be...

FDA's e-cigarette regulations to impact $2 billion industry Chain smokers had heaved a sigh of relief after e-cigarettes became popular. Their easy availability had given hope to many friends and family members who were deeply upset by their close smoking cigarettes...

Ecigarette

Immigration reform 2014: Not dead as yet   When the Republican didn’t show any interest in backing the immigration reform in the House it was thought the issue was long dead. But surfacing of a few more incidents shows that it is not so. Immigration reform could get...

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State John Kerry has voiced concern at shaky conditions in Ukraine and urged Russia to abstain from rhetoric and take action to de-escalate the crisis. Kerry called both Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei...

PARIS: As the Ukrainian crisis continues to heat up, French President Francois Hollande will "very shortly" head to another vulnerable Caucasus country, Georgia, to demonstrate support for that country's aspiration to join an association accord with the European Union, official...

BRUSSELS: One year ago, the world was shocked by the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh where more than 1100 people lost their lives in this terrible accident and thousands more were injured, said EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs,...