Laos wants to become “high middle-income country” by 2030

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Laos party congressLaos’ Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong revealed that the ruling Communist party of the country has set a vision of Laos being released from the status of a least developed country and be recognised as a developing country by 2020. Then, by 2030, Laos would become a high middle-income country, he said.

The Prime Minister spoke at the 10th congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party which opened on January 18 at the National Convention Center in the capital Vientiane and will run until January 22. The congress is held every five years and delivers, among others,  economic strategies, this time the new five-year socio-economic development plan from 2016 to 2020 and the country’s “2030 Vision.”

Target set are “to maintain high economic growth” and “people’s democracy” over the next five years. During that period, Laos aims to have an annual GDP growth rate of at least 7.5 per cent while “balancing its national economic structure, addressing poverty and creating favourable conditions for national industrialisation and modernisation,” according to party chief Choummaly Sayasone.

The party leader emphasised that Laos had achieved “many objectives” over the past five years including high economic growth and the increase of per capita income from $319 in 2011 to $1,970 last year, prompting the World Bank to upgrade Laos from a low-income country to a low-middle income country. The poverty rate has been reduced to 6.59 per cent, and the rate of access to electricity grew to 89 per cent, he said.

In the infrastructure sector, the launch of the communication satellite Lao Sat 1 and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lao-China high-speed railway project on the 40th anniversary of the communist regime last year were among the greatest achievements, Sayasone said.

The congress will also see the selection of members of the influential Politburo and Central Committee, the key decision-making bodies in the party.

The communists are ruling Laos since 1975 when the Vietnam War ended, which spilled into into the country and saw it blanketed by bombs in a secret war led by the CIA. There are still regions literally inaccessible for that reason.

Laos’ funding for development – apart from international aid – is mainly based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling most of the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand, China and Vietnam. The country is also rich in minerals, and has grown its income from tourism. However, subsistence agriculture still accounts for half of the GDP and provides 80 per cent of employment, while opium farming and smuggling forms a considerable part of the country’s shadow economy.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Laos’ Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong revealed that the ruling Communist party of the country has set a vision of Laos being released from the status of a least developed country and be recognised as a developing country by 2020. Then, by 2030, Laos would become a high middle-income country, he said.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Laos party congressLaos’ Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong revealed that the ruling Communist party of the country has set a vision of Laos being released from the status of a least developed country and be recognised as a developing country by 2020. Then, by 2030, Laos would become a high middle-income country, he said.

The Prime Minister spoke at the 10th congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party which opened on January 18 at the National Convention Center in the capital Vientiane and will run until January 22. The congress is held every five years and delivers, among others,  economic strategies, this time the new five-year socio-economic development plan from 2016 to 2020 and the country’s “2030 Vision.”

Target set are “to maintain high economic growth” and “people’s democracy” over the next five years. During that period, Laos aims to have an annual GDP growth rate of at least 7.5 per cent while “balancing its national economic structure, addressing poverty and creating favourable conditions for national industrialisation and modernisation,” according to party chief Choummaly Sayasone.

The party leader emphasised that Laos had achieved “many objectives” over the past five years including high economic growth and the increase of per capita income from $319 in 2011 to $1,970 last year, prompting the World Bank to upgrade Laos from a low-income country to a low-middle income country. The poverty rate has been reduced to 6.59 per cent, and the rate of access to electricity grew to 89 per cent, he said.

In the infrastructure sector, the launch of the communication satellite Lao Sat 1 and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lao-China high-speed railway project on the 40th anniversary of the communist regime last year were among the greatest achievements, Sayasone said.

The congress will also see the selection of members of the influential Politburo and Central Committee, the key decision-making bodies in the party.

The communists are ruling Laos since 1975 when the Vietnam War ended, which spilled into into the country and saw it blanketed by bombs in a secret war led by the CIA. There are still regions literally inaccessible for that reason.

Laos’ funding for development – apart from international aid – is mainly based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling most of the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand, China and Vietnam. The country is also rich in minerals, and has grown its income from tourism. However, subsistence agriculture still accounts for half of the GDP and provides 80 per cent of employment, while opium farming and smuggling forms a considerable part of the country’s shadow economy.

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