Planning ministry confers on development strategy, challenges

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Ministry of Planning and Investment is continuing efforts to enhance cooperation in response to challenges in implementing the government’s socio-economic development plan up to 2020.

Representatives of the ministry and other authorities met in Vientiane on Thursday and reviewed the implementation of a development index for the government’s 2018-2019 socio-economic development plan which was approved by the National Assembly on November 28, 2018.

The meeting’s discussions also covered executing next year’s development plans.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Kikeo Chanthaboury, chaired the meeting and called on the authorities to work together to put plans in place and provide the necessary documentation for development plans.

Authorities pointed out the challenges in putting into practice the government’s current socio-economic development plan with the country impacted by the US-China trade conflict.

Laos has also suffered widespread flooding in six central and southern provinces, crop and livestock diseases, as well as dengue fever outbreaks.

However, these would not significantly impact development plans for services, investment, production, and poverty reduction which were still being carried out effectively.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, under the five-year socio-economic development plan for 2016-2020, Laos would need capital investment of 45.5 trillion kip (US$5.3 billion), equal to 26 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to ensure economic growth of at least 6.7 percent by 2020.

Of this amount, about 50 percent will be sourced from domestic and foreign investments, notably hydropower, development of special and specific economic zones, as well as the processing industry and tourism.

Some 22 percent will come from the banking sector, 11 percent from the national budget and the rest from Official Development Assistance.

Over the past four years, the economy has faced challenges as a result of revenue shortfalls and external impacts, particularly the falling price of commodities and minerals, which are among the country’s primary income earners.



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