Service sector key factor driving Laos' economic growth, says top Lao official

VIENTIANE (Xinhua): Strong growth in the service sector remains a key factor in driving Laos' economic growth in 2023 and 2024, which is projected at 4.2 and 4.5 per cent, respectively, said a Lao official.

According to Lao national TV's report on Thursday, Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Khamjane Vongphosy cited the figures when reporting on the implementation of the 2023 socio-economic development plan and the draft plan for 2024, which he presented at the sixth ordinary session of the National Assembly's ninth legislature on Tuesday.

However, the projected 4.2 percent growth rate is lower than the target of 4.5 per cent set in the 2023 plan, the minister said.

Rising production costs and drought which affected hydroelectricity generation were key factors in this year's lower growth rate.

Laos recorded gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.4 per cent over the first nine months of 2023.

Wholesale and retail, transport and tourism-related hospitality businesses, collectively categorized as the service sector, were the best performers. This sector grew by 5.6 per cent, the highest contributor to GDP with 37.2 per cent. Tax and customs, industry, and agriculture and forestry grew 3.9, 3.5 and 3.4 per cent respectively.

The minister underlined the need to maintain strong political stability and social order to ensure the success of upcoming major events to be hosted by Laos and to drive the service sector and achieve 2024's ambitious growth targets.

In 2024, industry is expected to record the highest growth rate at 5 percent, followed by the service sector at 4.8 percent, tax and customs at 3.9 per cent, and agriculture at 2.6 per cent. If these targets are achieved, GDP will amount to 293,786 billion Lao kip, equivalent to an average per capita annual income of US$1,787.

The Lao government has announced an ambitious target to drag down inflation to a single-digit figure next year after months of excessive levels. Inflation is currently trending downwards from the 41.26 per cent figure recorded in February to 25.69 per cent in September. - Xinhua

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Laos , Service Sector , Big Push , Major Drive , Economy


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