Newly-elected Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh has raised seven urgent issues that his government will address over the next five years.
When submitting a draft of the 9th five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2021-25 and State Budget Plan for 2021-25 to the National Assembly on Monday, newly-elected Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh identified seven major issues he intends to resolve, according to the Vientiane Times.
Public Debt and Financial Leaks
The most urgent of seven issues that the government will address over the next five years is financial affairs, especially public debt and financial leaks.
Prime Minister Phankham promised to boost economic growth by increasing revenue and addressing the chronic public debt, as well as including an austerity policy in the national agenda.
Corruption, Road Safety, and Drug Trafficking
The government is to take strong action against corruption, drug traffic, and road accidents, which are holding the country back. The PM hopes to curb corruption and make Laos more attractive for foreign investment, with stricter enforcement of traffic regulations and anti-drug enforcement.
The government will make economic recovery its top priority in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating more job opportunities and addressing economic vulnerability by reducing reliance on natural resources.
Production and Services
The government will move toward the implementation of priority projects in the production and the services sectors, helping boost the economy and making local goods and services more accessible domestically.
Closing the Gap Between Urban and Rural Areas
The wide gap between urban and rural areas will be addressed, reducing disparities between urban and rural areas and allowing more of the population access to basic public services, health, and education.
Human Resource Development
Human resource development is a key area for the government over the next five years, as it will focus on expertise and competence in the 4.0 digital age as well as the “new normal” after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The weakened LAK currency is a concern for the government amid depreciation and exchange rate fluctuations. This will be addressed by the government through the boosting of production of goods and less reliance on imports.
The government hopes to achieve economic growth at a rate of no less than 4% per year under the 9th Socio-Economic Development Plan and help the country graduate from Least Developed Country status in the future.
Mr. Phankham Viphavanh was elected Prime Minister of Laos at the inaugural session of the 9th National Assembly, with Party Secretary-General Thongloun Sisoulith elected as President.