Lao govt instructs all agencies to help resolve economic woes


Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone leads the monthly government meeting for January. - VT

VIENTIANE: The government has instructed all its departments and local authorities to use all means at their disposal within the scope of their responsibility to help resolve the ongoing economic and financial difficulty and ease people’s hardship.

The instruction was issued at the government’s monthly meeting for January, which took place at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday and was chaired by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.

The meeting reported on the main events of January and the plan of work for February.

Meeting participants discussed numerous important issues including tasks carried out in January, including in the fields of national defence, security, and foreign affairs.

Reports were delivered on the regulations and mechanisms concerning foreign affairs activities at the central and local levels.

The meeting outlined the achievements and way forward in relation to the 46th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Laos-Vietnam bilateral cooperation.

The government reassessed all previously approved mining projects and future plans, as well as reporting the results of the evaluation of the government’s Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Fund.

Meeting participants also commented on a draft amended law on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and a draft amended law on environmental protection.

In addition, the meeting reported on improvements made to a draft decree on the Railway Safety Fund, and a new draft of the Law on Cooperatives.

The meeting took place amid complex changes taking place in the region and the world, impacting directly and indirectly on investment and trade. Uncertainty is leading to rising inflation, which is affecting economic recovery and growth in many countries.

Laos is affected by rising fuel prices on the world market, which cannot be avoided because Laos imports all of its fuel and also imports most of its consumer goods and other essentials.

Meanwhile, the production and purchase of goods remains low, meaning that imports continue to be essential, which uses precious foreign currency reserves. This affects currency exchange rates and serves to drive up inflation, with the result that commodity prices remain high. In response, the government has directed the relevant bodies and local authorities to take more responsibility in helping to resolve economic and financial problems and improve people’s quality of life.

Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone called on meeting participants to undertake more analysis of the situation and provide constructive comments on the topics discussed, in order to achieve set goals and objectives. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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