Foreign businesses protest Myanmar foreign currency rules

Apr 8, 2022, 2:05 AM | Updated: 5:56 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Foreign business groups in Myanmar have raised concerns about new rules requiring businesses and individuals to convert all foreign currency held in bank accounts into the local currency.

A statement issued Friday by the American Chamber of Commerce and British, French, Australian chambers and similar groups says the requirement to swap all dollars and other foreign currencies for kyats would lower Myanmar standards of living, discourage foreign business activity and foreign investment and cause trade tensions.

“As written, the regulations effectively prevent the use of foreign currency in Myanmar which disconnects Myanmar from the global economy and global financial system,” it says.

“Implementation of these measures and the associated lack of clear exemptions for foreign investments creates significant, and for some, insurmountable challenges to all businesses operating in Myanmar,” the statement says.

The Japanese Embassy in Myanmar also submitted a letter to the government saying Japanese businesses would face “serious challenges” in following the new rules.

It said it also would be detrimental to the operations of the embassy and other official organizations.

Details of the new rules have yet to be announced. But the central bank said in another notice that they would apply to income from export and other sources such as services, investments, loans for investment and other transactions.

The change appears aimed at alleviating a shortfall in hard currency following a Feb. 1, 2021 military takeover that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Critics of the new policy noted that limits on bank withdrawals would further complicate its implementation.

The U.S. and other Western countries have imposed targeted sanctions on the military, army-affiliated businesses, military leaders and their families, freezing assets held in those countries.

The economy has slumped amid widespread public resistance to the takeover and the pandemic, which has in turn kept away tourists whose spending accounts for a large share of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

A deputy governor of Myanmar’s Central Bank was shot at her home on Thursday, days after the tough new regulations were issued. There were conflicting accounts of whether Than Than Swe, appointed to her post after the military seized power, survived the attack.

Myanmar has been ruled by the military for most of the time since it gained independence from the British in 1948. But for about a decade beginning in 2011 the country began a faltering transition toward democracy and its economy began to take off as it opened further to foreign investment.

Some major foreign businesses have opted to leave since the military seized power last year, citing rising risks and a deteriorating business environment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A General Motors sign is seen at its facility in Langhorne, Pa., on Oct. 16, 2019. General M...
Associated Press

General Motors reinstates dividend suspended in pandemic

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will reinstate quarterly dividend payments that were suspended during the pandemic that shut down its factories. The automaker said Friday that the dividend of 9 cents per share will be paid on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on Aug. 31. GM canceled its quarterly dividend in April 2020 as […]
5 hours ago
This photo shows a Spotted Lanternfly, in Long Branch, NJ, Aug. 7, 2022. Kill-on-sight requests in ...
Associated Press

See it? Squish it! Fighting the invasive spotted lanternfly

When Stephen Nixon recently noticed a “beautiful” spotted lanternfly by his bag as he skateboarded in Brooklyn, he heeded the request of city officials. He stomped on it. “I don’t like killing things. Not many people do. I’ll catch and release cockroaches if I find them in my apartment,” Nixon said. “But this seems like […]
5 hours ago
Olga Rudneva walks along the edge of a crater Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, from a rocket strike yesterd...
Associated Press

2 Russian villages evacuated after fire at munitions depot

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The residents of two villages in Russia’s Belgorod region on Ukraine’s northeastern border were evacuated after a fire at a munitions depot near the village of Timonovo. The fire is the latest in a series of destructive incidents on Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine or inside Russia itself. Roughly 1,100 people reside […]
5 hours ago
In this photo provided by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President ...
Associated Press

US lawmakers meet detained Philippine opposition leader

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who was once banned from the Philippines by former President Rodrigo Duterte, on Friday met a long-detained Filipino opposition leader, whom he says was wrongfully imprisoned under Duterte and should be freed. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and a group of U.S. legislators met former Sen. Leila […]
5 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 10, 202...
Associated Press

Biden to host unity summit against hate-fueled violence

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden will host a White House summit next month aimed at combating a spate of hate-fueled violence in the U.S., as he works to deliver on his campaign pledge to “heal the soul of the nation.” The White House announced Friday that Biden will host the United We Stand […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

China jails Canadian tycoon for 13 years for finance crimes

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese-born Canadian tycoon who disappeared from Hong Kong in 2017 was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for a multibillion-dollar string of financial offenses and his company was fined $8.1 billion, a court announced. Xiao Jianhua was convicted of misusing billions of dollars of deposits from banks and insurers controlled […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Foreign businesses protest Myanmar foreign currency rules