The American Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (AMCHAM Myanmar) recently led a financial services business delegation to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw consisting of 13 companies to meet with government representatives and local banks from July 24-26. The goal of the mission was to help U.S. financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies, get a better understanding of the local market and opportunities, as well as encourage them to enter the Myanmar market.
The delegation also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, Scot Marciel, and representatives of the U.S. Embassy, urging the U.S. Government to remove Myanmar from the Enhanced Due Diligence requirements of Sections 311 and 312 of the USA Patriot Act which inhibit U.S. financial institutions from doing business in Myanmar.
According to Judy Benn, AMCHAM Myanmar Executive Director, currently no U.S. banking institutions that will provide trade financing to Myanmar, finance direct investment in the country, or repatriate U.S. investors’ funds to the U.S. due to the stringent due diligent requirements imposed by the U.S. Government. This seriously impacts U.S. companies’ ability to do business with Myanmar, specifically including exports to that country, investment in the country, and participation in the economy on equal footing to other foreign companies.
In addition to U.S. Government representatives, the delegation also met with the Economic Advisor to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and Deputy Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the Minister of Finance & Planning, the Governor of the Central Bank, and the Financial Regulatory Department. Additionally, the delegation met with the Director General of Myanma Insurance and the Insurance Business Regulatory Board to urge continued reforms that would allow foreign insurance companies access to the Myanmar insurance market and ensure a level playing field for all.
AMCHAM Myanmar firmly believes that a healthy economy is one in which all companies, both local and foreign, operate in an environment that is free of prohibitive and discriminatory regulations, that encourages diversity and innovation, and allows companies to compete under fair conditions, it said in a statement.