US Expands on Myanmar Business Advisory
Additional sectors and activities identified as high-risk, as third coup anniversary nears
January 29, 2024 (Washington, DC) – The United States announced updates to the first business advisory for Myanmar. The supplemental advisory, jointly issued by the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Labor, and Homeland Security, and the Office of the US Trade Representative, includes the identification of additional sectors and activities of concern, notably mining, timber and jet fuel. Businesses, including financial institutions and individuals, are advised to adopt heightened compliance and due diligence measures to reduce risks of exposure to the junta and its enablers.
Denisse Rudich, Senior Policy Advisor at The Sentry, said: “Following the publication of the supplemental business advisory by the US Government, banks in the US and abroad, particularly in countries such as in Singapore, Thailand, and the UAE should monitor transactions to stop the flow of funds suspected of being linked to the military junta and carry out enhanced due diligence. They should engage with their correspondent banking networks, taking measures to prevent de-risking and ensure that humanitarian aid organizations, civilians, and essential sectors of the economy maintain unhindered access to the international financial system.”
Oliver Windridge, Director of Illicit Finance Policy at The Sentry, said: “We welcome the supplemental advisory on Burma by the US Government. It complements the continued targeted sanctions policy adopted by the US to constrain and contain the Myanmar junta by restricting access to funds that finance its brutal war on the people of Myanmar. Targeted sanctions will not solve the crisis in the country on their own, but as essential financial tools of pressure, they must be wielded by the US and its like-minded partners in a coordinated manner and against networks of enablers to enhance their effectiveness. In addition to sanctions, the advisory identifies high-risk business sectors that companies will want to stay clear of to prevent their potential complicity in the atrocities of the Myanmar junta. It nevertheless encourages legitimate and responsible trade and investment flows that benefit the Myanmar population.”
Yadanar Maung, Justice For Myanmar spokesperson, said: “It is positive that the US is continuing to advise companies in Myanmar to act responsibly and avoid key sectors that provide the junta with funds and resources that it needs to commit atrocities. However, this advice needs to be urgently backed up with more targeted sanctions by the US in coordination with its allies, including Australia, which remains exposed to Myanmar’s mining sector. There still are too many gaps in the sanctions that have been imposed and a large number of businesses and individuals that remain unsanctioned, despite evidence of complicity in the junta’s international crimes.”
The first US business advisory on Myanmar, published in January 2022, was issued “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.”
For media inquiries or interview requests for The Sentry, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, [email protected]
For media inquiries for Justice For Myanmar, please contact: Yadanar Maung, Spokesperson, [email protected]
About Justice For Myanmar
Justice For Myanmar is a covert group of activists using research, data visualisation, and reporting to expose and dismantle the business networks that fuel brutality, corruption and mass-scale suffering.
About The Sentry
(Short descriptor for press use: “The Sentry, an investigative organization that tracks corruption”)
The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy. Pull back the curtain on wars, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses, and you’ll find grand corruption and unchecked greed. These tragedies persist because the perpetrators rarely face meaningful consequences. The Sentry aims to alter the warped incentive structures that continually undermine peace and good governance. Our investigations follow the money as it is laundered from war zones to financial centers around the world. We provide evidence and strategies for governments, banks, and law enforcement to hold the perpetrators and enablers of violence and corruption to account. These efforts provide new leverage for human rights, peace, and anti-corruption efforts. For more information: www.TheSentry.org