Laos plans to leave behind poor country status by 2026

A village in Laos drying tea leaves in a project led by Swiss-German development organisation Helvetas

The government of Laos is hopeful to leave the Least Developed Country (LDC) status of the nation by 2026 at the latest, calling economic sectors to prepare for a smooth transition to achieve this target, Vientiane Times reported on November 12.

The vision has been set by the country’s Committee for Development Policy earlier this year, recommending that Laos be granted an extended five-year preparatory period to leave the LDC status behind.

As it stands, Laos shares the poorest nation label in Southeast Asia with Myanmar, Cambodia and East Timor, and worldwide with Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Yemen, 33 African countries and three Oceania island nations, as well as Haiti as the only least developed country in the Americas.

Less than $1,025 gross national income per capita annually

The least developed status of a country is currently defined by the United Nations as a gross national income of less than $1,025 a year, and as $1,230 to graduate from it. It also takes into account indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy, as well as the scope of economic and political stability.

In Laos, the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy and people’s daily lives have threatened to revert hard-earned progress on the country’s socio-economic development over the last decades,  further increasing Laos’ vulnerability, the report noted.

More investment in human capital sought

Lao government officials said that urgency was particularly relevant to the key sectors responsible for fulfilling the criteria for LDC graduation, including more investment in human capital.

All those efforts must be done in collaboration with development partners to ensure that any impacts resulting from the loss of international support for LDCs would “not constrain the country’s development momentum,” they added.

United Nations Resident Coordinator to Laos Sara Sekkenes said that becoming a developing and eventually an upper middle-income country with a less vulnerable economy, stronger human assets and a climbing gross domestic product could provide the engine to propel Laos into “delivering sustainable development for all.”

However, the target seems to remain ambitious as Laos has repeatedly put forward the target date to overcome the LDC status in the past, most recently from 2024 as per a 2018 forecast.



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[caption id="attachment_37773" align="alignleft" width="300"] A village in Laos drying tea leaves in a project led by Swiss-German development organisation Helvetas[/caption] The government of Laos is hopeful to leave the Least Developed Country (LDC) status of the nation by 2026 at the latest, calling economic sectors to prepare for a smooth transition to achieve this target, Vientiane Times reported on November 12. The vision has been set by the country’s Committee for Development Policy earlier this year, recommending that Laos be granted an extended five-year preparatory period to leave the LDC status behind. As it stands, Laos shares the poorest nation...

A village in Laos drying tea leaves in a project led by Swiss-German development organisation Helvetas

The government of Laos is hopeful to leave the Least Developed Country (LDC) status of the nation by 2026 at the latest, calling economic sectors to prepare for a smooth transition to achieve this target, Vientiane Times reported on November 12.

The vision has been set by the country’s Committee for Development Policy earlier this year, recommending that Laos be granted an extended five-year preparatory period to leave the LDC status behind.

As it stands, Laos shares the poorest nation label in Southeast Asia with Myanmar, Cambodia and East Timor, and worldwide with Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Yemen, 33 African countries and three Oceania island nations, as well as Haiti as the only least developed country in the Americas.

Less than $1,025 gross national income per capita annually

The least developed status of a country is currently defined by the United Nations as a gross national income of less than $1,025 a year, and as $1,230 to graduate from it. It also takes into account indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy, as well as the scope of economic and political stability.

In Laos, the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy and people’s daily lives have threatened to revert hard-earned progress on the country’s socio-economic development over the last decades,  further increasing Laos’ vulnerability, the report noted.

More investment in human capital sought

Lao government officials said that urgency was particularly relevant to the key sectors responsible for fulfilling the criteria for LDC graduation, including more investment in human capital.

All those efforts must be done in collaboration with development partners to ensure that any impacts resulting from the loss of international support for LDCs would “not constrain the country’s development momentum,” they added.

United Nations Resident Coordinator to Laos Sara Sekkenes said that becoming a developing and eventually an upper middle-income country with a less vulnerable economy, stronger human assets and a climbing gross domestic product could provide the engine to propel Laos into “delivering sustainable development for all.”

However, the target seems to remain ambitious as Laos has repeatedly put forward the target date to overcome the LDC status in the past, most recently from 2024 as per a 2018 forecast.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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