Party Central Committee Promises to Fix Inflation in Laos

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photo credit: Lao National Radio

The Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has pledged to get a grip on the rising inflation and other economic difficulties the country is currently suffering from.

Laos recorded 34 percent year-on-year inflation in September – the highest figure in more than two decades. During the fifth Plenary Session which ended on 20 October, The Party Committee took several measures to address inflation and other economic challenges.

The six-day meeting, led by Party Secretary General, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, vowed to enforce strict measures to manage rising prices and keep currency exchange rates in control.

In the meeting, officials agreed to look at increasing export revenues and ensuring that payments are made through the banking system. They also discussed repairing buildings and infrastructures affected by natural disasters in order to boost production and normalize the living conditions of affected communities.

To increase productivity, the meeting approved steps to review and assure enough electricity supply for mega development projects. It also mulled over ways to avoid any more fuel shortages as was reported earlier this year.

The meeting called for more actions to be taken to boost local production, with an attempt to decrease imports and increase exports. Additionally, funds have also been allocated to reform the electricity board, Electricite du Laos.

The committee also decided to take immediate action to examine and govern special economic zones where numerous issues have been reported recently.

Participants at the meeting observed that, despite the country’s financial and economic problems and unfavorable global conditions, Laos saw its gross domestic product (GDP) expand by 4.2 percent over the past nine months compared to the same time last year. GDP per capita rose to USD 1,841.

The agriculture sector saw 2.9 percent growth, while industry rose by 4.4 percent. The service sector also grew by 4.9 percent.

The Party central committee predicted the GDP to grow at least 4.5 percent by 2023. This ambitious goal will be presented to the National Assembly for approval later this year.