National Assembly to Address GDP Target Amid Economic Downturn

The new Laos National Assembly Building Under Construction (Photo: TF TRAVEL)

The Government is set to review the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target and present the revision to the upcoming session of the National Assembly for discussion, following an economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Assembly is to open its ninth ordinary session of the 8th legislature in Vientiane tomorrow.

A range of topics will be up for discussion at the session, including reports on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan, state budget plan, and monetary plan in the first five months of the year, as well as other issues of national importance.

The cabinet is finalizing the reports and is expected to decrease the country’s projected GDP growth target from 6.4 percent to approximately 3.5 percent for 2020, according to a report in KPL News.

The National Economic Research Institute submitted a report in April stating that as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Laos’ GDP is expected to rise by only 3.3 percent in 2020 – the lowest rate in three and a half decades.

Tourism, manufacturing, and state revenue collection are all in decline, according to the report, with the tourism sector losing more than USD 450,000 in the first two months of 2020.

To combat negative economic effects, the government has laid out policies and measures to reduce and defer the payment of tax, customs, and other administrative fees during the coronavirus outbreak, and lowering the basic interest rate charged by the Bank of the Lao PDR.

A progress report on the implementation of these policies is to be presented at the National Assembly session.

The ninth session, which runs for a week, will see cabinet members responding to questions raised by members of parliament.

At the same time, National Assembly members will debate and approve draft amendments to five laws; the Law on the National Assembly, the Law on Provincial People’s Council, the Law on Election of Members to the National Assembly, and the Law on Water and Water Resources.