WASHINGTON Nov 16 The United States eased restrictions on goods from Myanmar for the first time in nearly a decade, just a day ahead of President Barack Obama's historic trip to the country.
The looser restrictions mark a further step in the U.S. rapprochement with the rapidly reforming country, and could be a further political boost to the former general now leading changes in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Officials said the Myanmar government said easing the import ban could help further integrate their country into the global economy.
"Today's joint actions ... are intended to support the Burmese government's ongoing reform efforts and to encourage further change, as well as to offer new opportunities for Burmese and American businesses," the U.S. Treasury and State departments said in a joint statement on Friday.
The government issued a waiver and general license to ease the ban on most goods, though it will not cover jadeite and ruby imports.