Tag Archives: issues

Economic Issues Top Cabinet, Provincial Governors Meeting Agenda

A meeting between the government cabinet, Vientiane Mayor and provincial governors kicked off yesterday in Vientiane to debate measures to realise the 2017 socio-economic development plan.

The two-day meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, also reviewed achievements made in implementing the socio-economic development plan, budget plan and currency plan over the past year.

The discussion came after the National Assembly (NA) approved the government’s proposal last month to revise the 2017 socio-economic development plan to reflect a lower economic growth target of 7 percent, a decrease from the originally expected 7.5 percent.

To pursue the target, yesterday’s meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office discussed a Prime Ministerial Order on the 2017 Socio-economic Development Plan, budget plan and currency plan.

According to the 2017 plan presented at last month’s NA ordinary session, the government expects to collect revenue of 23,801 billion kip and spend not more than 32,262 billion kip to secure the growth target.

Next year, the target is set to ensure that deposits by the commercial banks reach 57 percent of the country’s GDP. As of July 2016, commercial banks have recorded deposits totaling more than 59,616 billion kip, representing 54.8 percent of GDP, an increase of 5,692 billion kip compared to the same period last year, according to the currency plan presented at the NA.

Yesterday’s meeting also heard a report of the four-year currency plan for 2017-2020, which is set to increase deposits at commercial banks to 84 percent of GDP by 2020, up from the 57 percent expected in 2016.

The participants also heard a report that summarised debt accumulated under state investment projects.

Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs is scheduled to report on ways to improve coordinated mechanisms between the Prime Minister’s Office, ministries, other state organisations and local authorities.

The Ministry of Finance will also report on a draft presidential ordinance on road fees. The Ministry of Justice is set to present a report that evaluates the formulations and amendments to the laws and regulations of various departments as well as the enforcement situation in relation to laws and regulations over the past years and plans for the future.

A report to review the performances of the government cabinet since it has taken office in April will also be presented.

Prime Minister Thongloun told the NA last month that reshuffles in state departments with their redefined mandates have been made following the assumption in office of the new cabinet. The move aims to ensure those ministries and departments whose responsibilities previously overlapped no longer have such problems.

The government has also issued at least 12 Prime Ministerial Decrees, and another 11 Prime Ministerial Orders and a number of regulations in efforts to further a society governed by the rule of law.

In addition, many laws were newly drawn up and amended, which were passed by the recent NA’s ordinary session.

The PM highlighted that the government has also addressed some hot issues such as solving the failed administration of Electricite Du Laos (EDL).

Several hot issues have been addressed, including taking tougher action to manage wood processing plants and businesses, a prohibition on the export of unfinished wooden products and a cessation of the granting of an annual logging quota in an attempt to end illegal logging.

The crackdown has resulted in the fact that 28 wood processing factories located near and inside forest areas along with another 1,154 family-unit furniture plants across the country were ordered to shut down their illegal operations, amongst other issues.

Source: Vientiane Times

Boten Border Officials Prepare for Traffic Issues

Luang Namtha province: — Officials at Boten international checkpoint in Luang Namtha province are working hard to introduce measures to minimise traffic chaos at the crossing between the two countries as the Laos-China railway project commences.

Head of the management committee for the Boten international checkpoint, Mr Phonsay Chanthasone, told the press on Thursday that about 400 cars and heavy trucks from Laos, China and other countries are crossing the Laos-China border daily.

However Chinese construction companies have informed border officials that they intend to bring between 500 or 1,000 vehicles across the border for the construction of Laos-China railway project.

“The Chinese trucks are very big and long and this will cause traffic congestion so the border will have to remain open longer,” Mr Phonsay said.

Chinese construction companies said their vehicles will cross the border in September this year but border officials have yet to see them so far, he added.

According to the Luang Namtha provincial Public Works and Transport Office, the construction of the railway project in the province has yet to actually commence because some landmine clearance activities are holding up the process.

Currently, Boten border checkpoint is closed at 8:00pm but when the 500 or 1,000 Chinese vehicles come to cross into Laos, the border officials plan to remain open until 10:00pm in a bid to reduce traffic congestion.

Mr Phonsay added that the construction of the Laos-China railway is good because it will reduce the number of vehicles being used for cross border goods transportation.

Right now, the roads in the country are quite small and their quality is not very high, he said.

The total value of goods imported and exported via the Boten international border was estimated at US$86 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Officials reported that there are 250,000 people including tourists and traders crossing the border in a year.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Laos has received Official Development Assistance from China and its citizens of about 1.3 billion yuan and this figure continues to increase each year.

China provided interest-free loans of about 1.3 billion yuan and about 8.6 billion yuan in low interest loans from 2005 to 2015 for the development of infrastructure, education and healthcare in Laos.

Laos recently approved the Vision 2030 which aims to raise its development status to that of a high middle-income country.

The 2025 Socio-economic Development Strategy has set out the conditions for achieving this status, with Gross Domestic Production (GDP) per capita targeted to double compared to the 2015 figure, to reach US$3,940 per capita.

The main indicator identified in the 8th National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2016-2020 is an average GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent, which must be achieved if Laos is to graduate from Least Developed Country status in 2020.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

NA Session Opens to Debate National Issues

The National Assembly (NA)’s Eighth Legislature opened its second ordinary session yesterday to debate issues of national importance.

Donnoun-Thangone Road Contractor to Solve Flooding Issues

The project contractor which completed the upgrade of a 12km stretch of Road No. 10 from Donnoun junction to Thangone village in Xaythany district is looking to improve the drainage system after the road experienced recent flooding.

Vientiane Issues Temporary Work Permits to Over 1,000 Foreign Workers

More than 1,000 foreigners working in business and service sectors have been registered and issued temporary work permits as Vientiane authorities seek to bring such workers and their employers in compliance with the law.

Lao Securities Issues Warning on Dubious Financing Companies

The Lao Securities Commission Office is advising people considering making deposits with financial institutions to make a careful assessment before going ahead.

Govt Mulls to Solve Business Issues for Development

Business operations in Laos remain challenging because of widespread failure to understand and comply with complex laws as well as lax oversight on the part of the authorities.

National Assembly Members Beef Up on Economic Issues

Members of the National Assembly and the People’s Provincial Assemblies have learnt more about economic issues so they can better support and monitor work being undertaken by the government.