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

January 26th, 2022  •  Author:   United States Department of the Treasury  •  2 minute read
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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.”

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