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Tourists No Longer Require To Exchange Dollars For FEC At Rangoon Airport - 2003-08-22


Officials at Rangoon's international airport say Burma is no longer forcing tourists to exchange 200-dollars in cash for government-issued Foreign Exchange Certificates.

The officials say at least two exhange counters have already closed at the airport. Burma's military government has yet to issue a formal statement on the shift in policy.

Until recently, tourists in Burma were required to exchange at least 200-dollars for the certificates, which could then be used for food, accomodations and other expenses.

Burma's military government imposed the policy in 1993 to deter tourists from exchanging money on the black market --where the dollar received a higher exchange rate.

The Foreign Exchange Certificates were roughly equal in value to the dollar.

Officials also say Burma is now encouraging businesses and state agencies to use the euro in place of the dollar.

The changes comes just weeks after Washington imposed tough new trade scantions on the Burmese government in response to the continued detention of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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