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New U.S. Multiagency Burma Business Advisory

Publication of Business Advisory on Heightened Risks Associated with doing Business in Burma

Release date01/26/2022Body

Today, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, State, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have issued a business advisory titled: Risks and Considerations for Businesses and Individuals with Exposure to Entities Responsible for Undermining Democratic Processes, Facilitating Corruption, and Committing Human Rights Abuses in Burma (Myanmar).

And here are the announcements from Treasury:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Publishes New Business Advisory on Heightened Risk of Doing Business in Burma

January 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury joined the Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in issuing a business advisory to inform the public of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma, particularly business involving the military regime. 

Since the military coup in February 2021, the military has engaged in a pattern of serious human rights abuse against the people of Burma, reportedly killing more than 1,400 people, committing brutal acts of violence against civilians, unjustly arresting civilian leaders, and attacking labor unions and their members.

The coup has also significantly damaged the economic and business environment in Burma. The regime’s monopolization of resources and lack of transparency contribute to significant corruption within the country. The specific entities and sectors of greatest concern for corruption and other illicit finance risks include:

  • State owned enterprises
  • Gems and precious metals
  • Real-estate and construction projects 
  • Arms, military equipment, and related activity 

Businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in operations or supply chains tied to, the military regime that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of significant reputational, financial, and legal risks, including violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions. 

Treasury encourages businesses and financial institutions to reassess and mitigate the heightened risks posed by the military’s attempts to reassert economic and financial control in Burma.

“The return of military rule in Burma brings with it high levels of public corruption and a deficient anti-money laundering regime,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The international business community has a responsibility to ensure it is not contributing to corruption, illicit financial activity, or serious human rights abuses, all now heightened since the coup.”

and State:

Business Advisory for Burma

PRESS STATEMENT

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON

JANUARY 26, 2022Share

On February 1, 2021, Burma’s military overthrew the country’s democratically-elected civilian government in a coup d’etat. Since then, the military has killed more than 1,400 innocent people, unjustly arrested political leaders and journalists, violently disbanded labor unions, and committed egregious human rights abuses against the people of Burma. These acts are an attack on the people of Burma and a rejection of their will, as expressed in Burma’s November 2020 general elections.

The coup and subsequent military-led abuses have severely damaged Burma’s economic and business environment, reversing the gains achieved over the course of Burma’s ten-year transition towards democracy, and resulting in an unpredictable business environment in which the military extracts revenue to support its violent repression of democracy.

Today, the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, the Treasury, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative are issuing this advisory to inform individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and other persons — including investors, consultants, and research service providers — of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma, and particularly business activity that could benefit the Burmese military regime.

The United States does not seek to curtail legitimate business and responsible investment in Burma. However, businesses and individuals should be wary of the associated illicit finance and money laundering risks, as well as reputational and legal risks, of conducting business and utilizing supply chains under military control in Burma. The military regime has undermined the rule of law, facilitated widespread corruption, and committed serious human rights abuses, which exacerbate risks to foreign businesses operating in Burma or providing financial services to Burmese businesses.

These industries have been identified as primary industries providing economic resources for Burma’s military regime:

  • State-owned enterprises
  • Gems and precious metals
  • Real-estate and construction projects
  • Arms, military equipment, and related activity

Businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in, operations or supply chains tied to the military regime that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of engaging in conduct that may expose them to significant reputational, financial, and legal risks, including violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions, as well as abetting human rights abuses.

This business advisory is another example of the United States’ strong commitment to the people of Burma. The United States will continue to work with our partners and allies to promote justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities, and to press the regime to cease the violence, release all those unjustly detained, cease human rights abuses, and restore multiparty democracy and Burma’s democratic transition.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Business Advisory

Press Releases – Treasury, State

Categories: Advisories Burma Sanctions Guidance Human Rights Sanctions Multiagency Advisories OFAC Updates

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