Laos Vows to Graduate from Least Developed Country by 2026

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Laos Vows to Graduate from Least Developed Country by 2026
FILE: this image is used only for representational purpose (photo: Flickr)

The Lao government has pledged to complete its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and carry the nation out of the Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026, with efforts focusing on human resources development, economic regulation, and poverty reduction.

Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Khamjane​ Vongphosy made the vow on 14 February​  during a press conference following the 2023 Round Table Implementation​ Meeting, where the focus was on accelerating the implementation of the 9th Five-Year National Socio-economic Development Plan.

The Five-Year plan focuses on economic growth, with aims to improve human resources by ensuring improved quality of the educational system from early childhood, prioritizing green development, boosting productive sectors, such as crops, livestock, forest and fisheries and improving living standards. The plan also prepares for Laos’ graduation from Least Developed Country status.

The Lao government is also pushing to reduce urban-rural development disparities, eliminate violence against women and children, reduce poverty, and enhance domestic business competitiveness by improving the business environment.

To support these initiatives, the government will implement appropriate financial strategies and strengthen disaster prevention and control operations. This includes improving early warning systems, conducting risk studies, and supporting high-risk communities to enhance preparedness for extreme weather events.

Minister Khamjane also emphasized the importance of collaboration, stating that the Ministry of Planning and Investment will coordinate with other authorities to follow up on suggested guidelines for successful implementation. This collaborative approach is seen as essential for achieving the SDGs and LDC graduation..

While factors such as an economic slump and high inflation project a downward trend for the country, the Lao government is continuing to implement the 9th Five-Year Socio-Economic plan, as part of the broader goal to achieve the SDGs and graduate from the LDC status.