Laos makes plans to spur economic growth in 2019

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos plans to invest about 44,347 billion kip of its budget or 26.80 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 to ensure the country’s steady economic growth. 

Of this amount, 4,359 billion kip, or 9.83 percent of the total, equal to 2.63 of GDP, will be taken from the domestic budget according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

A total of 2,450 billion kip will be taken from specific and irregular funds, accounting for 56.20 percent of the domestic budget or 5.52 percent of total investment.

Of the specific funds approved, 850 billion kip or 19.50 percent of the investment will come from the domestic budget. Of this, 500 billion kip will be used for disaster rehabilitation after last year’s flooding, 250 billion kip to compensate people for the loss of their property to the Laos-China railway, and 100 billion kip for the development of Xaysomboun province.

Of the irregular funds approved, amounting to 1,600 billion kip or 36.70 percent of the domestic budget, 400 billion kip will be used to repay debt, 1,100 billion kip will be spent on unfinished projects, and 100 billion kip will go to joint funding of development projects and other new projects.

Some 478.9 billion kip of the joint fund will be used for the Laos-China railway, 700 billion kip will fund road construction and repair, and 730.8 billion kip will be used for state service fees.

The government’s investment using Official Development Assistance (ODA) is 7,113 billion kip, amounting to 16.04 percent of total investment or 4.29 percent of GDP.

Investment by the domestic, private and foreign sectors will be 23,086 billion kip, accounting for 52.06 percent of total investment or 13.95 percent of GDP, as well as investment from financial and currency systems.         

This year, the government will try to further grow the economy. The growth forecast for GDP is at least 6.7 percent, with GDP per capita set to hit US$2,726 and Gross National Income per capita to reach US$2,317, Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Souphan Keomixay said at an annual meeting held in Vientiane on Tuesday.

The agriculture, forestry and rural development sector should grow by 2.8 percent, the industry sector by 8.3 percent, and the services sector by 6.6 percent, in addition to 7 percent from tariffs and service, he said.

In 2018, GDP grew by 6.5 percent, amounting to 152,425 billion kip with GDP per capita income reaching US$2,599 and Gross National Income per capita reaching US$2,209.

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