The beginning of an ease on the ban of import goods from Myanmar to the United States will begin, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced during the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday.
In response to the accelerated changes the Southeast Asian nation has taken-which was once under the rule of a military junta-the United States is working to normalize the relationship between the two nations which has been estranged for quite some time, The Bangkok Postreports.
Clinton addressed Myanmar President Thein Sein:
“The United States is taking the next step in normalizing our commercial relationship. We will begin the process of easing restrictions on imports of Burmese goods into the United States. We hope this will provide more opportunities for your people to sell their goods into our market. As we do so, we will continue consulting with Congress and other relevant stakeholders about additional steps while at the same time working with you and supporting those who are hoping that the reforms will be permanent and that progress will continue.”
However, an arms embargo remains in place.
The UN General Assembly happens to coincide with the tour of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who the former government kept under house arrest for 15 years.
The transformation to a more democratic state has taken five decades in Myanmar, in which President Thein Sein took the country from a military dictatorship to the point where Aung San Suu Kyi now serves as a Parliament member, BBCreports.
President Thein Sein graciously accepted the United State’s offer to lift the ban on importing goods:
“The people of Myanmar are very pleased with the easing of economic sanctions by the United States. We are very grateful for the actions of the United States.”