Statement on Deputy Secretary of Treasury Wolin’s Visit to Burma

On October 25, Deputy Secretary of Treasury Neal S. Wolin concluded two days of meetings with senior government officials, parliamentarians, and presidential advisors in Naypyitaw. Deputy Secretary Wolin held substantive and productive discussions with President Thein Sein; Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann;  Minister of the President’s Office Soe Thein,  Finance Minister Win Shein; Central Bank Governor Than Nyein; parliamentarian and political party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and advisors to President Thein Sein.

Deputy Secretary Wolin discussed ways in which the United States can support continued economic reform  in Burma, particularly through assistance to develop Burma’s financial sector and improve public financial management. Deputy Secretary Wolin urged the Burmese government to continue progress on improving transparency in the country’s banking, enforcement and tax policy and administration.  He  welcomed the Burmese  intention  to reform and develop the country’s financial sector and noted that  the  Treasury Department  looked forward to assisting in this process.   He also encouraged the government to continue strengthening human rights and democracy.

The Deputy Secretary’s trip  follows the Administration’s implementation of new legislation signed by President Obama that will provide the United States with flexibility to vote in support of worthwhile financial assistance programs for the country that will be carried out by international financial institutions (IFI) such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

The visits to the United States of Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein last month represented a  watershed in our bilateral relationship. Deputy Secretary Neal S. Wolin’s visit this week is a further demonstration of U.S. commitment to partner with Burma as it walks down the path of reform.

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