The Prime Minister of Laos has ordered full-scale preparations for reopening the country amid the launch of the Laos-China Railway.
Lao Prime Minister, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, made the statement while addressing the National Assembly yesterday, according to Chinese State Media in Laos.
He said during his opening remarks the government must develop a comprehensive strategy for reopening the country, including the initiation of railway services and ramping up vaccinations.
The Lao government must focus on resolving economic issues and addressing the Covid-19 crisis by ensuring that residents can adjust to the new normal, according to Dr. Phankham.
Authorities are in a race against time to source more vaccines and vaccinate as much of the population as possible, with the goal of reaching 50 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
“Despite advanced research and technology, no country in the world has been truly free of Covid-19 over the past two years. People cannot remain locked at home forever without earning a living, and therefore we must learn to live with this disease,” said PM Phankham.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Sonexay Siphandone, said during the National Assembly session that the hospitality industry had contracted by 28.6 percent, affected by the closure of international borders and the suspension of domestic travel.
At the same time, the government pledged to reform state enterprises, develop a digital economy, increase production and exports, while encouraging investment in large-scale projects such as expressways, hotels, and tourist attractions, Vientiane Times reports.
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