Mr Chong Chi Nai ( second right ) attends a press conference in Vientiane yesterday
Mr Chong Chi Nai (second right) attends a press conference in Vientiane yesterday
The Lao economy is expected to grow by about 7.7 percent in 2013 as resource based industries, manufacturing and services continue to generate solid growth, according to a key Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

The bank yesterday released its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Bank Outlook, highlighting the economic performance of developing Asian countries including Laos.

“The Lao PDR will continue to see solid growth in the next few years, building on the achievements of the last five years or so,” ADB Country Director Mr Chong Chi Nai said as quoted in a press release from the bank yesterday.

“Going forward, the challenge will be to shift the focus from the absolute growth levels to the quality of growth to ensure Laos will follow an inclusive and sustainable growth.”

According to the publication, the substantial investment flowing into hydropower and mining, coupled with the construction of hotels, offices and residential buildings, will drive this growth. Hydropower plants completed last year will contribute an expected 12 percent increase in power generation in 2013. Agriculture, which employs over 60 percent of the workforce, is expected to grow at a fast pace this year, as rice production recovers and animal husbandry continues to expand. Tourist arrivals are projected to grow by 10-15 percent.

“The outlook for the Lao economy in 2013 is strong, as we see the economy starting a gradual diversification from its overdependence on the natural resources sector,” Mr Chong said.