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Vientiane, Feb 27 – The Lao government will take further action to stabilize currency exchange rates and inflation, rein in rising prices, and foster trade and investment, in a bid to revive the economy and overcome the financial crisis.
Lao Economic Daily on Monday quoted Deputy Minister Thipphakone Chanthavongsa as saying that more would be done to restore economic, financial and monetary stability, reports Xinhua news agency.
The intention to more forcefully tackle the country’s continuing economic woes was made during the government’s monthly meeting last week, when a range of measures to boost economic growth were discussed.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, was attended by deputy prime ministers, members of government, mayor of Vientiane, provincial governors, and ministers, together with representatives of various state agencies.
The government’s monetary policy and efforts to improve currency exchange rates will be strengthened, together with attempts to regulate product prices and service charges, and to ensure a regular supply of fuel.
The government will declare 2023-2024 as Lao Tourism Year and make in-depth plans to welcome tourists.
The meeting also discussed dry season agriculture, the transport of goods, tourism services, and the production of goods for domestic sale and export, with an emphasis on low production costs and a strong sale price.
Attendees approved a summary of the government’s achievements in February and endorsed the plan of work for March, according to the report.
Inflation in Laos has increased significantly since the beginning of 2022, with rising prices continuing to inflict hardship on people.
The annual average inflation rate in the Southeast Asian country was 23 per cent in 2022, jumping from 3.8 per cent in 2021.
Laos’ inflation rate climbed to 40.3 per cent year-on-year in January 2023, the highest in 23 years, with a surge in energy and consumer goods prices.