The National Assembly of Laos met yesterday for a special brainstorming session to address the country’s economic problems.
The brainstorming session was chaired by Mr. Saysomphone Phomvihane, Politburo member and President of the National Assembly, and was attended by Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Sonexay Siphandone, as well as members of the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly, cabinet ministers, and representatives from international organizations.
When addressing the meeting, Mr. Saysomphone said that all countries in the region and around the world have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has directly affected economic growth across a number of sectors.
“The government has worked to resolve our country’s economic problems, however, we must now work harder than ever. Therefore, with the interests of the people at heart, the National Assembly has convened this meeting to exchange ideas and hear potential solutions from a range of stakeholders.”
Laos is now facing increasing fuel prices, rising inflation, and a depreciation of its national currency, the Lao kip.
Mr. Saysomphone said that voices would be heard from stakeholders in various sectors, including economics, technology, environment, and representatives of international organizations, so that solutions could be found together.
He said that ensuring the successful implementation of such solutions in line with national socio-economic development strategies must be prioritized.
Fiscal and economic difficulties amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s swelling debt burden were declared a National Agenda item by the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party last year.
A new World Bank report forecasts slower growth and rising poverty in the Asia-Pacific region this year as multiple shocks from the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine compound troubles for individuals and businesses.