Lao economists have called on the government to pay more attention to preparations for the country’s expected graduation from the least developed country (LDC) status, to ensure sustainable development.
If Laos leaves the LDC grouping as anticipated, possibly in 2024, it will result in a reduction of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and assistance under the Generalized Scheme of Preference (GSP) granted to exporters by many developed nations, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
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Local economists are concerned about the financial situation after Laos loses its LDC status as the government will need to find other sources of revenue to replace the income lost from the Official Development Assistance, said the report.
A senior economist at the Lao National Economic Research Institute, Leeber Leebouapao, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that the government has yet to devise plans and measures to cope with the challenges of the country’s change in official development status.
“We will face two main challenges after LDC graduation, namely a reduction in ODA and a decline in the privileged trade treatment granted to Laos which will impact the manufacturing and export sectors,” he said.