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Laos continues path of relentless development

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The rate of Laos’ economic growth is on track to reach 6.4 per cent this year, while average per capita income has risen to $2,683. PHOONSAB THEVONGSA/VIENTIANE TIMES

Laos continues path of relentless development

Under the guidance of the party and state over the past 44 years, the people are happy and proud to see that Laos is continuously developing.

In many ways, the country’s development is making good progress and is strong. The economy is recording continuous growth and today’s society is developing every day.

As set in motion by the party and state, Laos is on track to achieve its development goals as planned. This has been especially evident in the last four or five years, as the development of infrastructure to connect to neighbouring countries is advancing at a strong pace through national investment.

The Laos-China railway, expressways, national roads, airports, harbours and logistics systems are being built, along with local roads, industrial estates and food production sites. In addition, other necessary infrastructure is intertwined with clean agricultural production.

One thing that stands out in terms of government efforts is the rate of economic growth, which is on track to reach 6.4 per cent this year, while average per capita income has risen to $2,683. However, the growth rate is 0.3 per cent less than the target figure of 6.7 per cent set for this year, while the target for per capita income was set at $2,726.

An economic growth rate of 6.4 per cent is expected to be achieved by the end of the year, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the ongoing meeting of the National Assembly.

“This is less than the goal approved by the National Assembly, but it reflects continuous good growth. Importantly, however, this growth is of good quality,” Thongloun said.

Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone reported on economic growth in all sectors.

With regard to tourism, some 3.4 million tourists have visited Laos so far this year, which is 11 per cent more than in the same period last year. Accommodation and restaurant services grew by 5.3 per cent due to Visit Laos-China Year 2019.

The construction sector is expected to grow by 16.8 per cent thanks to the under-construction Laos-China railway between Vientiane and the Boten-Mohan border crossing into China. The 414km railway slices through northwest Laos, passing through the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha.

The railway is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021 and will be the first rail route linking Laos to China’s network.

In terms of agriculture, the livestock sector has grown by 4.3 per cent,

forestry by 0.8 per cent, and fishery by 4.8 per cent. But the crop sector grew by only 2.3 per cent, down 0.7 percentage points from 2018’s growth as a result of floods last year.

In the health sector, the goal for next year is for 85 per cent of people to have access to clean water. And the government also hopes to train about 70,000 people in various job skills.

There are currently 1,266 domestic and foreign investment schemes in operation, valued at 20.304 trillion kip ($2.3 billion).

VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN

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