Automated teller machine maker Diebold Nixdorf’s opening of a permanent office in Yangon on February 2 marked the first significant US investment in Myanmar since former US President Barack Obama last October terminated nearly all of the remaining sanctions Washington imposed for decades on its previous rights-abusing military regime.
Obama’s executive order meant that US entities no longer need to seek permission from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to make investments exceeding US$500,000 in Myanmar. A blacklist of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) of military cronies was also dropped, with a few exceptions, along with the penalties US firms would face if caught doing business with them.
While Obama’s order ended most sanctions against Myanmar’s current elected government, it has not yet sparked an inrush of US investments. One reason, analysts say, is that Myanmar is not...