October 25, 2022
VIENTIANE – Party Central Committee vows to battle rising inflation, economic woes
The Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has vowed to address skyrocketing inflation and other critical economic difficulties the country is currently facing.
Laos has been hard hit by inflation, which has inflicted more hardship and greatly affected people’s living standards.
Year-on-year inflation rose to 30.01 percent in August – the highest figure recorded in more than two decades. The Party Central Committee, in its fifth Plenary Session which ended on October 20, adopted measures to address inflation and economic difficulties, Lao National Radio reported.
The six-day meeting, chaired by Party Secretary General Thongloun Sisoulith, pledged to take strict measures to control skyrocketing prices and keep currency exchange rates in check.
To address these issues, the meeting agreed on the need to maximise revenue earned from exports and ensure that various payments are made through the banking system.
The Party Central Committee agreed to accelerate the rebuilding and restoration of infrastructure affected by natural disasters in an attempt to boost production, while normalising the living conditions of affected communities.
The meeting approved actions to review and ensure a sufficient supply of electricity to mega development projects in order to boost productivity.
Steps will also be taken to speed up the reform of Electricite du Laos.
The meeting called for more to be done to boost domestic production in order to minimise imports and increase exports. In this regard, a certain amount of funding has already been allocated.
The meeting underlined the need to create more jobs for Lao nationals, while closely managing foreign nationals employed in Laos.
The Party Central Committee agreed to take urgent action to investigate and regulate special economic zones where sensitive issues have reportedly arisen.
The meeting resolved action to ensure that Laos will not suffer more fuel shortages, as happened earlier this year.
Meeting participants noted that Laos enjoyed gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.2 percent in the past nine months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, despite the country’s financial and economic woes and unfavourable global conditions. GDP per capita rose to US$1,841.
The agriculture sector grew by 2.9 percent, industry grew by 4.4 percent, and the service sector saw 4.9 percent growth. The Party Central Committee recommended a GDP growth rate of at least 4.5 percent for 2023. This ambitious target will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval later this year.