Laos govt course for growth in 2024 with focus on tourism and infrastructure development despite economic challenges

VIENTIANE (Laotian Times): As 2024 begins, Laos continues to face economic challenges, including surging inflation, a scarcity of labour, and an expanding trade deficit.

In response, the nation has initiated the Visit Lao Year 2024 campaign, turning to tourism as a key strategy to overcome economic obstacles and lay the groundwork for a prosperous Asean chairmanship in 2024.

Besides this main project, the government's measures is to improve public transport accessibility, with a focus on simplifying ticket sales for the Laos-China Railway.

The plan also included completing infrastructure projects such as roads and airports, restoring highways damaged by natural disasters, and resolving the labor shortage in the hospitality sector.

But despite numerous economic challenges, Laos has achieved noteworthy success in curbing its inflation rate. Initially recorded at a staggering 40.30 percent in January, the latest December inflation report reveals a significant reduction, with the rate now resting at 24.3 percent.

In response to the surging inflation rate, the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) has outlined a strategic goal to bring inflation down to 9 percent or another single-digit figure by the conclusion of 2024.

The central bank is set to bolster the enforcement of monetary policy, with a focus on increasing the domestic money supply, channeling export income into the banking system, and harmonizing currency exchange rates with market mechanisms. Complementary efforts will concentrate on fostering greater flexibility in foreign currency exchange and elevating the quality of services provided by commercial banks.

In another noteworthy development this year, Laos was appointed the Asean Chair for 2024. The official handover ceremony took place during the closing of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 7.

Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone received the Asean Chairmanship gavel from Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the ceremony. In his pledge, Prime Minister Siphandone expressed his commitment to foster a more connected and resilient region during Laos’ chairmanship in 2024.

As preparations intensify for both the Asean Chairmanship and Visit Laos Year 2024, the Department of Information, Culture, and Tourism in Vientiane Capital is closely monitoring the enhancement of hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. This is part of the comprehensive preparations to host high-level meetings and a greater influx of foreign tourists in the upcoming year.

The department is placing emphasis on the renovation of key tourist attractions in Vientiane Capital, including landmarks such as Pha That Luang Stupa, Ho Phrakeo Museum, Sisaket Temple, and Patuxai Monument.

On a regional level, Laos is determined to carry on Indonesia’s initiatives to build a more connected and resilient Asean amidst widespread concerns about the unresolved crisis in Myanmar, which continues to pose a significant challenge for the region.

Nevertheless, Laos remains committed to contributing to the collective efforts aimed at strengthening Asean. - Laotian Times

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Laos , growth , 2024


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