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Govt mulls plans to minimise impacts of pandemic

Economic issues, particularly ways to strengthen the economy while minimising the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, are among the most important issues being discussed at a government meeting which began in Vientiane on Thursday.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, is being attended by government cabinet members, the mayor of Vientiane and provincial governors from January 7-8.

Meeting participants reviewed the implementation of the socio-economic development plan for 2016-2020 and discussed plans for the next five years.
Other important items discussed at the meeting on Thursday included progress made in improving investment climate indicators, improvements in approving investment and granting business licences, commercial production, and a report on a study of ways to convert State assets into capital.
On Friday, cabinet members, the Vientiane mayor and provincial governors will discuss the outcomes of the government’s measures in response to Covid-19 and how the pandemic has affected the economy. They will also debate a report on Laos’ preparations to graduate from the UN’s list of least developed countries.
Last year, Laos suffered severe economic hardship when the Covid-19 pandemic hit tourism, investment and other service businesses, which are the country’s main sources of revenue.
The pandemic caused rising unemployment and the government has pledged to address this issue.
The government has done a good job in keeping Covid-19 in check even as more cases are reported in the region.
The government is committed to carrying out economic reforms and moving towards sustainable development, ensuring an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to a report in the Lao Economic Daily, the economy grew at an average annual rate of 5.8 percent over the past five years, with annual average income per capita rising to US$2,664.
The government projects that the economy will grow by 4-5 percent annually in the years 2021-2015, with an annual inflation of not more than 6 percent.
One of the government’s most important policies is to improve mechanisms and measures to address economic difficulties and ensure quality growth and stability of the macro-economy. The government also plans to improve the structure of the economy, with a focus on SMEs and economic development along the Laos-China economic corridor and East-West and North-South economic corridors.
Laos has huge potential to generate more income from tourism due to its natural beauty and historical and cultural places of interest. The government has vowed to remove more barriers and improve the business climate in a bid to attract more investment from within Laos and from foreign countries to further boost economic growth.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update
January 8,

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