The U.S. government is easing economic sanctions on investing in Burma. In their place: “responsible business” reporting requirements. From law firm Foley Hoag:
“The U.S. decision to ease financial and investment sanctions on Burma for the first time since 1997 is a landmark – and controversial – moment. It presents Western businesses with an opportunity to enter a largely untapped market, albeit one that suffers from weak rule of law and internal conflict. In response to such concerns, although the Obama Administration will now allow U.S. companies to invest in Burma, they must comply with Burma-specific reporting requirements for responsible business, which mandate public disclosure on social, environmental, and anti-corruption policies and procedures.
This is the first time the United States has implemented such requirements as an element of easing a sanctions regime. The imposition of the requirements indicates that, although the Administration wants U.S. companies to invest in Burma, both the government and civil society are deeply concerned about the ability of companies to operate responsibly in that context. Due to such worries, U.S. companies have a significant incentive to enter this market in a manner that follows international best practices regarding the environment, human rights impacts, and corruption – and a chance to demonstrate that U.S. businesses indeed are partners of choice.”
Read the full update, Responsible Investment in Burma (Myanmar): An Experiment that Cannot Afford to Fail - Foley Hoag LLP»