Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Growth in Laos expected to remain resilient despite economic stresses

Growth in Laos expected to remain resilient despite economic stresses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The entrance of Houay Ho Hydropower Plant is seen in Sanamxai, Attapeu province. Last year’s prolonged dry spell may affect agricultural production and low reservoir levels could cause cuts in Laos’ electricity generation. AFP

Growth in Laos expected to remain resilient despite economic stresses

A new set of challenges is likely to affect Laos’ economy this year, mainly the long dry season, the coronavirus outbreak and the Sino-US trade war.

Last year’s prolonged dry spell may affect agricultural production and low reservoir levels could cause cuts in electricity generation, a National Institute for Economic Research report said.

Meanwhile, the continuing Covid-19 outbreak in China may affect the region’s service sector, including in Laos.

The Chinese government has banned its tour companies from travelling outside the country. This means that in the first two months of this year, Laos could lose earnings of about $20-25 million from cutbacks in the tourist trade.

This figure is likely to increase if tourists from other countries stop coming to Laos because of concerns about the health situation in the region.

Meanwhile, trade between Laos and other countries is fluctuating amid a slowdown in the global economy and the region due to the trade war and conflict between the US and Iran.

These issues are taking a toll on the export of Lao goods such as garments, coffee and electronic goods.

However, despite these setbacks, the economy looks set to enjoy stable growth of at least six per cent, possibly 6.3-6.4 per cent, due to increased electricity production, notably from the Xayaboury hydropower plant, which started commercial operation in December.

Investment from domestic credit is also expected to see stable growth, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises, hotels, restaurants, trading, agriculture and retail and wholesale businesses. The construction and agricultural sectors will also provide a larger contribution if there is no serious impact from natural disasters.

To ensure economic growth remains stable, the government should pay more attention to acting on important advice, such as actively seeking solutions to economic issues and obstacles to development.

Sectors with strong growth potential such as agriculture and tourism should be developed so Laos can benefit from regional and international integration by increasing revenue in these fields.

It is especially important to improve standards of education so that the workforce is more highly skilled, knowledgeable and capable, and that value chain production is enhanced using advanced technology.

Also of importance is a stronger response to climate change and natural disasters, which are likely to affect the economy more and more in the future, while officials should closely monitor and promptly respond to disease outbreaks.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of