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Govt Pledges To Stabilise Macro Economy

Source: Vientiane Times

The government has vowed to stabilise the macro economy and currency exchange rates, reaffirming that it won’t allow the country to slide into debt default.

The pledge came at the close of the two-day open government meeting which ended on Friday.

The need to resolve the public debt was one of the 13 significant tasks that government members agreed demanded immediate attention.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and attended by cabinet members, the Mayor of Vientiane, provincial governors, and representatives of various state agencies.

The government will continue to settle various forms of public debt, notably debts owed by state enterprises, as well as enter negotiations with creditors about the deferral of principal and interest repayment, government spokesperson Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa told a press conference after the close of the meeting.

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The government instructed the sectors concerned to seek low-interest loans while also taking steps to prevent the accrual of additional debt.

The meeting agreed that it was essential to reduce the vulnerability of the macro economy by regulating currency exchange rates and the price of consumer goods in market, and curbing inflation.

The government pledged to ensure sufficient fuel is available by pursuing market-based mechanisms, saying this would minimise damage to the economy and small-scale commercial production.

The government also vowed to plug loopholes that could cause financial leaks and to carry out checks into the amount of revenue earned from pilot mining operations.

The sectors responsible were told to strengthen state-funded development projects and allocate funding to priority development schemes that would yield high economic returns and support poverty reduction efforts.

The government will continue to carry out the reform of state enterprises and improve the investment climate as well as push for more progress in the implementation of mega projects.

Meeting participants also discussed the procedures involved and the obstacles encountered upon entry and departure from Laos after the government opened the country to foreign nationals on May 9.

The meeting endorsed five reports, highlighting the achievements made by the government over the first six months of this year and plans for the rest of the year.

The first report was an assessment of the government’s accomplishments, especially in relation to priority projects.

The second report concerned the socio-economic development and budget plans for the last six months of this year together with the fulfilment of the two national agendas to address economic and financial difficulties and drug trafficking.

The third concerned the regulation of currency exchange units, microfinance institutions, pawn shops and jewellery shops.

The fourth report was related to the government’s attempts to address the fuel shortage, fuel services, and improvement of the oil price structure.

The last report covered the government’s battle against Covid-19 and dengue fever.