Laos Economic Information
(kindly provided by the Embassy of Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos to the United States of America)
TRENDS FOR THE YEAR 2000 &
SETTING THE PACE TOWARDS THE 21ST CENTURY
TRENDS FOR THE YEAR 2000
As the consequence of the increasing amount of foreign investment since Laos opened its doors in 1988, the government set a goal to increase the nation’s economic growth gradually.
Focus has been made on complete infrastructures development to support increasing foreign investment. The government has a long-term plan to promote the level of increase to at least 15% of GDP by the year 2000.
The inflation rate is expected to reach 10% until the end of AD 2000 since the government realizes that the country still has to rely heavily on the import of capital goods for national development, which will continue to expand.
Although the Lao economy has made progress, it has naturally had to overcome challenges to its stated policy of national development. At every step, the government has shown its determination to overcome all obstacles in a forthright and sincere manner. With so many positive indications it is becoming clearer that Laos will indeed achieve better and better rates of economic growth. Having learned from the example of other Asian economies, it will proceed at a gradual and disciplined pace so as to ensure future stability and steady economic expansion.
SETTING THE PACE TOWARDS THE 21ST CENTURY
At present, private sector owned and operated educational institutions exist in Laos to teach specific subjects complementary to professional competence. The three subjects offered by such institutions are English, Business Administration and Computers. Such institutions provide the compete in today’s specialist knowledge required in a modern developing country subjects that the nation’s workforce will require if it is to business world.
Laos also receives scholastic assistance from Vietnam, China, Thailand, Australia, Japan etc… for the human resources development.
In addition, goals and policy guidelines for the country’s readiness for the 21st century have already been set up with a long-term economic development plan (1993-2000). The essence of the plan is:
- to maintain the economic expansion rate at about 7-8% p.a.
- to maintain economic and financial stability with the inflation rate targeted at no more than 8% p.a.
- to promote development in the agricultural sector. Focus is on the production of cereals, which must be adequate for both domestic consumption and export. The goal set of rice production per annum by the year 2000 is 2.2 million tones.
- to conserve the country’s forest resources. Classification of forest zones was made clear-cut as Conserved Forests, National Parks, Watershed Forests, and Industrial Forests. Measures to protect and preserve each type of forest were set up. Clearing forests for farming will be reduced by at least 50% by the year 2000. Improvements were. also made to the forestry management system.
- To promote the development of small and medium industries, handicrafts produced using local raw materials, resources and labor, as well as open its doors to cooperate with foreign countries.
- To promote the development of energy, especially electricity produced for export. Goals for electricity production include a plan to reach 1,500 megawatts by the year 2000.
- To improve and expand the transportation system in every major part of the country, including that which joins with foreign systems and the access to the sea, and to enhance postal services.
- To promote every aspect of rural development by establishing an organization exclusively for planning and operating the country’s rural development.
To promote human resource development with the objectives of improving skills and the quality of all classes of people as well as developing the education system.
For more information on doing business in Laos, the Embassy of Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos to the United States of America has kindly provided extensive information in the following Guide to Doing Business in Laos. This can be viewed online or printed to assist you in your research and business efforts.
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Runckel & Associates