Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on Wednesday the 2nd of October met with leading officials from ministries, government bodies, agencies and Vientiane authorities to discuss the current international situation and the country’s economy.

Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong began the meeting with an overview of the situation in the Middle East, which he encouraged participants to closely observe. He also said crisis conditions in the European and United States’ economies were affecting Lao mineral exports, with gold and copper prices recently experiencing downturns.

He spoke about recent difficulties the country has faced, notably flooding that has cost the government about 400 billion kip in recovery efforts.

The prime minister said 90 people had lost their lives to dengue fever in Laos this year, a number considerably higher than in other countries in the region. He said, “Despite government attempts to limit fatalities from the disease, the low level of public awareness, a lack of cooperation on disease prevention measures and poor technical expertise caused the high number of deaths,”

After reviewing a report on the Seventh National Socio-Economic Development Plan at its half-way point, the Premiere said economic growth of more than 8 percent should be a source of pride for the nation. He highlighted the development of the electrical sector as the fastest-growing area. The Premiere drew attention to some failed investment projects, saying many foreign companies with government-approved projects had failed to make any progress on their developments.

He said some domestic businesses had initiated projects in the hope of finding foreign investment, but had not been successful.

The prime minister called on the relevant government bodies to closely examine business profiles before authorising investment projects. Despite his praise for national growth, the prime minister said the economy remained fragile as state revenue collection was still reliant on natural resource exports and production infrastructure remained undeveloped.

The Premiere disclosed that, the agricultural sector still lacked a domestic processing industry to purchase its products.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English