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Govt Eyes 4.4 Percent GDP Growth Despite Economic Woes

Source: Vientiane Times

The government will aim for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of at least 4.4 percent over the last six months of this year, equal to 202,622 billion kip and in line with the target of 192,145 billion kip approved by the National Assembly.

The figure was reported by Minister of Planning and Investment Mr Khamjane Vongphosy at a consultation meeting held on Friday, chaired by the Vice President of the National Assembly, Mr Sommad Pholsena.

According to the report on socioeconomic development in the first half of this year and the plan for the remaining six months, GDP growth was recorded at 4.3 percent or 95,213 billion kip, equal to 49.6 percent of the plan.

The NA has ratified a GDP growth rate of 4.5 percent over the whole of 2022. “It is a big challenge for the government to achieve set targets given the overall situation and the uncertainties of domestic and external factors, but several sectors have provided significant contributions to growth, including agriculture, construction, wholesale and retail, energy and mining, and other sectors,” Mr Khamjane said.

Over the last six months of this year, the government targeted per capita GDP of US$1,756 and per capita Gross National Income of US$1,645. Meanwhile, the government will take steps to deal with the challenges that lie ahead in the remaining six months of 2022.

Growth in the agriculture sector is expected to reach 2.9 percent, equal to 15.9 percent of GDP, while the NA ratified a growth rate of 2.7 percent or 16.7 percent of GDP.

In addition, the government aims to collect total revenue of 31,593 billion kip, with expenditure set at 34,691 billion kip, resulting in a budget deficit of 3,098 billion kip. These are the same figures approved by the National Assembly.

To achieve these goals, the government will continue to focus on essential priorities including the management of currency exchange rates, stabilising product prices, and effective management of inflation.

Of particular importance on the government’s development agenda are the promotion of agricultural products, the processing industry and the service sector, alongside the reform of strategic plans to uitilise essential tools for revenue collection and expenditure.

Amongst these priorities, the government also plans to develop human resources, improve people’s livelihoods, and upgrade infrastructure for regional and international connectivity and effective public administration.

Following the report on socioeconomic development plans, NA members praised the government’s performance over the past six months. However, they urged the government to urgently tackle the spiralling price of fuel, regulate the price of consumer goods, and to seek sources of foreign currency to meet the needs of importers.

Issues raised by NA members and Provincial People’s Councils at the consultation meeting will be compiled and submitted for debate when the NA convenes for a formal sitting this week.