Lao gov’t calls for improving business environment to achieve development targets

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VIENTIANE, July 27 (Xinhua) — The Lao government has instructed state departments to work harder to pursue development targets by focusing on improving the business environment as one of the core driving factors.

The cabinet made the suggestion at its two-day monthly meeting for July that ended on Friday, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.

Chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the meeting underlined the need to better facilitate business activity and investment in order to attract more domestic and foreign investment.

The move was part of efforts to strive for achieving the revised development targets that were approved recently by the National Assembly (NA) including the revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth target.

The GDP growth target for 2020 was adjusted to 3.3-3.6 percent, lower than the original plan of 6.5 percent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Last week’s meeting told relevant ministries to push the implementation of mega projects to ensure their construction was completed on track under plans to drive growth. They included the Laos-China railway project, which is currently under construction and slated for completion by 2021, Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway, and mining and hydropower projects.

The cabinet called for the expediting of reform in state enterprises and rehabilitating and promoting services and tourism — the sector that has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Relevant sectors were told to realize financial and currency measures that were approved by the NA, including managing exchange and inflation rates conducive to socio-economic development.

The meeting called for relevant sectors to define policies that enable farmers and small and medium enterprises to access finance easily while providing technical knowhow to help the farmers and enterprises.

The cabinet asked the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to address issues associated with the export of farm products, according to the report. Enditem

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