VIENTIANE, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Lao National Assembly (NA) members have asked the Lao government to toughen up the management of foreign currencies in order to reduce inflation, rein in unfavorable foreign exchange rates, and curb spiraling prices.
Lao government aims to reduce the rate of inflation to 9 percent by the end of 2024, but this will be a huge challenge, Lao national radio on Thursday quoted NA member for Champasak province Saythong Sayavong as saying at the sixth ordinary session of the National Assembly's ninth legislature on Wednesday.
Closer regulation of foreign exchange should resolve some of the problems the country is facing. This should be done through rigorous law enforcement and monitoring of the use of foreign currencies by importers and exporters, he said.
Payments for imported goods should be made through the banking system, and close records should be kept of foreign currency earnings entering Laos and their transfer to other countries.
NA members also suggested that foreign currency exchange outside the banking system should also be more tightly controlled, as many foreign exchange units have been closed, but some are still operating online.
The government should do more to encourage people to use Lao currency kip during all financial transactions and limit the use of foreign currencies.
NA members also asked the government to place a greater focus on revenue collection, spending on development projects, and debt repayments, as well as increase domestic productivity so that more goods are produced locally to replace imported goods.
Although the inflation rate is falling, the price of goods and currency exchange rates remain high.
The government should focus on the production of goods that can be manufactured in Laos so that the volume of imported raw materials is significantly reduced.
NA members suggested that this could be done by providing low-interest loans, identifying markets for the sale of these products, and ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place.
Assembly members also asked the government to place a greater focus on tourism in preparation for ASEAN tourism meetings taking place in Laos in 2024, according to the report. ■