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YANGON, Myanmar — Banks in Myanmar are hoping to begin handling international credit card transactions by next year.

Than Lwin, deputy chairman of the prominent Kanbawza Bank, said Sunday that negotiations are under way with Visa on the use of its cards.

Foreign visitors have been unable to use credit cards because of U.S. and EU restrictions on money transactions since 2003. Western countries imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of its repressive policies, but began easing them this year after elected President Thein Sein initiated political and economic reforms.

Another Myanmar banker who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to release information said talks are also ongoing with MasterCard, China Union Pay and Japan Credit Bureau and he hopes credit card transactions will be possible by 2013.
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