Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos plans to lower debt to 64.5% of GDP by 2023

Laos plans to lower debt to 64.5% of GDP by 2023

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Last year, Laos’ total public and publicly guaranteed debt stock stood at $13.3 billion, accounting for 72 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). KHAMMUAN PROVINCIAL OFFICIAL/VIENTIANE TIMES

Laos plans to lower debt to 64.5% of GDP by 2023

The Lao government has vowed to reduce the total public and publicly guaranteed debt stock to 64.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2023.

This is a major goal as outlined in the National Agenda to address the country’s economic and financial difficulties.

The agenda is being implemented after it was approved in August at an extraordinary session of the National Assembly’s ninth legislature.

Part of this goal is to reduce external public debt to 55.4 per cent of GDP, according to the National Assembly’s Resolution on the adoption of the national agenda.

Last year, total public and publicly guaranteed debt stock stood at $13.3 billion, accounting for 72 per cent of GDP, according to the Ministry of Finance’s public debt bulletin.

External public debt stood at $10.6 billion, representing 57.2 per cent of GDP. Meanwhile, domestic public debt stood at $912 million, making up 4.9 per cent of GDP.

To reduce the nation’s debt as targeted in the national agenda, the government will put in place a number of measures.

First, create clear budget expenditure including a plan to repay debts owed to private companies which undertook state investment projects. Define sources of revenue to repay debts and reduce external loans to repay debts.

Formulate a plan for state investment projects that reflects the reality of the national budget. Competitive bidding is essential for state investment projects while austerity will be encouraged. Reduce spending on administrative affairs.

Second, address financial leaks and boost revenue earned from mineral exports, land and land concessions, and online trade.

Third, invest in priority projects that guarantee high economic returns and create favourable conditions for private investment.

Fourth, focus on the management of foreign currencies, exchange rates, foreign currency income, and foreign currency transactions through the banking system.

Fifth, accelerate the reform of loss-making state enterprises by restructuring management and strengthening capacity-building of staff to enable these enterprises to make a profit in the future.

Sixth, inspect and review land concessions for agricultural production, animal husbandry and mining.

Seventh, seek ways to reduce electricity imports to reduce foreign currency expenditure. Concentrate on high-quality hydropower projects, solar power and wind, in parallel with the expansion of the national grid to ensure energy security.

Eighth, conduct pilot projects on the excavation of metals while ensuring reduced impacts on the environment and people’s livelihoods.

Ninth, push for greater commercial production to reduce imports and boost exports along economic corridors.

Tenth, promote small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and ensure that they have access to low-interest loans and markets, creating a stronger supply chain in Laos.

Eleventh, reduce unemployment among university graduates and migrant workers returning from Thailand by focusing on skill development to suit the needs of the job market.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the