Bureau seeks to overcome statistical challenges
The country has made progress in the development of its statistical systems, but improvement to international standards remains challenging for the sector.
The issue was a topic of a meeting of the Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB) that opened yesterday in Vientiane to discuss provision of official information for supporting the implementation of the National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP).
Last year's successful hosting of the 6th session of the Asean Community Statistical System Committee was recounted by participants as a key achievement of the sector in the country.
“Across the entire system we have to enhance the production of official statistical figures raising their quality to international standards,” Deputy Minister and Head of the LBS Dr Samaychanh Boupha said. Another challenge is the preparation of indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals in monitoring their progress in the short term, which he said had close relations with the assessment of the country's goal of graduation from least developed country (LDC) status.
Failure in managing the use of village statistics books by many village authorities also remained a challenge despite having been encouraged to use such for around six years already, according to the deputy minister.
Around 500 indicators have been produced by the bureau, which reached 87 percent of the targets in the strategic plan on national statistics development from 2010 to 2020.
Dr Samaychanh stressed for the provision of statistical information to meet the requirements of the government. The bureau is preparing to provide economic statistics, especially GDP and inflation rates to the government and the National Assembly before the third ordinary session of the National Legislature.
The provision of statistics to the government in a timely manner was also tabled for discussion by the deputy minister, who referred to the United Nations agreement, which aimed for every country to update their statistical information every six months.
The bureau is preparing for the annual business, housing, labour and social indicator census in the country for 2017.
The bureau has responsibility for keeping statistics on the national accounts system since 2008, aiming to provide figures on Gross National Income and GDP, revenues and expenditure.
By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update January 27, 2017)