Laos: Vientiane vows to exceed 10 percent GDP growth in 2018

Vientiane authorities have told the capital’s People’s Council they will pursue Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of more than 10 percent in 2018, a slight increase from the almost 10 percent recorded in 2017.
Mayor of Vientiane Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune told the council’s 4th ordinary session, which opened on Tuesday, that the capital would carry out 22 priority projects to drive growth.
He pledged to expand and modernise industry in a clean and sustainable manner, while placing a focus on service chains.
His administration would also prioritise the expansion of sustainable production by the agriculture and forestry sector. Dr Sinlavong told the session the capital would promote the utilisation of science and technology as well as information and communication technology (ICT) in production and business operations.
Vientiane authorities will strive to invigorate the operations of more than 35,000 small and medium enterprises as important drivers of economic growth.
In addition, authorities will promote the designated 10 commercial production projects including the Vientiane Industry and Trade Area (VITA Park), wooden furniture market establishment project, food security projects, and sericulture project among others.
Vientiane will adjust its economic structure in line with market-oriented mechanisms.
The mayor pledged his administration would explore additional income sources for local residents in order to increase their purchasing power and improve their quality of life.
Vientiane would place great importance on enforcing the rule of law, he told the session. Last year, Vientiane attracted overall investment amounting to more than 23,763 billion kip.
In his opening remarks, President of the Vientiane People’s Council Dr Anouphab Tounalom said that although Vientiane has enjoyed strong economic growth, the capital is facing a number of challenges.
He added that the macro-economy was flimsy and that revenue collection had failed to meet the target as only 93.5 percent of the projected amount was collected.
Dr Anouphab said public debt accumulated by the capital remains high, and goods production has not fulfilled the capital’s potential.
In addition, the city is suffering from increasing traffic congestion and there are a large number of accidents, requiring the authorities to do more to resolve this problem.
The authorities were also required to work harder to protect the environment, regulate foreign workers, and address social ills.
During the four-day session, participants are reviewing a number of documents including reports on the implementation of the city’s 2017 socio-economic development plan and budget. Plans for 2018 are also being discussed.

Source: http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/FreeConten_Vientiane.php