Laos continues efforts to solve financial, economic issues-Xinhua

Laos continues efforts to solve financial, economic issues

Source: Xinhua| 2023-11-24 13:07:45|Editor: huaxia

VIENTIANE, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Laos' National Assembly (NA) has approved the extension of two National Agendas for another two years until 2025 after their success in addressing financial and economic difficulties and stemming the drug trade in the Southeast Asian country.

"The implementation of these agendas has seen achievements in many respects and positive changes have been made," Lao National TV on Friday quoted Lao National Assembly President Xaysomphone Phomvihane as saying at the close of the sixth ordinary session of the NA's ninth legislature on Tuesday.

The agendas were originally intended for the 2021-23 period but NA members agreed that it was necessary to extend the timeframe to enable more progress to be made in tackling financial and economic challenges as well as drug problems.

Presenting the mid-term review report on the five-year National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2021-2025, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone said mid-term average growth reached 4.03 percent, which meets the average growth target of at least 4 percent set in the plan.

Thanks to efforts to restructure revenue and expenditure along with modernizing the revenue collection system, revenue collection exceeded the target for two consecutive years.

Increased revenue coupled with reducing spending has narrowed the budget deficit.

Measures to bolster foreign currency reserves and reduce inflation are also gaining momentum.

The amount of foreign currency earned from exports increased from 31 percent of total earnings in 2020 to 41.32 percent during the first nine months of 2023. It is expected to rise further to 50 percent for the whole year.

However, the Lao government admitted that currency exchange rates remain fragile amid impacts of the changing global economic environment. Insufficient foreign exchange and high-level debt servicing are also a challenge calling for collective efforts to resolve, according to the report.