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Govt Sets 7.5 Percent Growth Target

The government has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for this and next year in an attempt to decrease the trade deficit.

The government measures to meet the planned target received support from the National Assembly (NA) at its ordinary session which concluded last week.

In the session’s draft resolution on approving the government plan, the assembly expressed support for the government targeting 102 trillion kip (around US$12.74 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP) to be created and 14.9 million kip of income per capita this fiscal year which ends September 30.

The NA also agreed with the government in maintaining 7.5 percent growth next fiscal year with income per capita to increase to 16.74 million kip.

For the economic structure, the government will mainly focus on a 9 percent growth in services which will make up 39.4 percent of GDP. In this the government aims to reach 4.5 million foreigners visiting the country next year.

The industry and handicrafts sector is set to grow at slightly less than serv ices and share 29.5 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, the government plans to extract more than 12.6 trillion kip from the production of minerals next year.

Agriculture would grow at a lower rate than other sectors at 3.1 percent with the government setting a rice productio n target of 4.2 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, there were changes in the socio-economic development plan for 2015-2016 regarding trade. The government initially proposed exports reaching US$3.8 billion, and imports reaching US$5.6 billion, but in the resolution, the value was revised to US$3.7 billion for exports and US$5.2 billion for imports.

Initially, the trade deficit against GDP percentage was set at 12.74 by the government’s proposal, but this was revised to 9.25 percent upon approval by the NA.

Regarding finance, the government is aiming for reserves of foreign currency to cover the equivalent of 5-months of imports.

In the social sector, the government is targeting to reach a 99 percent net enrolment rate for primary schools with 80 percent completion rate, and net enrolment for lower secondary schools at 81 percent.

The government also plans for 6 percent of all students who finish fourth year of lower secondary school to continue their education at professional technical schools, while increasing the places available for students by 20 percent.

The government has also set the target of not more than 45 per 1,000 as the mortality rate of children under five for next year.

Source: Vientiane Times