Laos' Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh says his country has no plan to introduce a multi-party democracy, but re-affirms the Lao People's Revolutionary Party's ultimate goal to lead the nation towards socialism.
The prime minister made the comments to foreign reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore. He did not mention a target date, but said his country's current goal is to eradicate poverty so that it can get rid of its "underdeveloped country" status by the year 2020, by focusing hard on economic development.
Mr. Bouasone said his country's macro-economic development for the past five years under the 5th socio-economic plan has brought increased stability to the country. He expressed confidence that the tstability will continue throughout the 6th plan which is being implemented, and that economic growth will average 7.5 - 8%, which will translate into a per capita income of around $800 by 2020.
Earlier this year, the Lao prime minister told a gathering of over 200 diplomats and representatives of international donors that the goal of the 6th socio-economic plan is to provide a solid foundation for international intergration. He also said, besides bringing stability, the last five-year plan had brought the inflation rate from 7.9% to 4.1% last year, and reduced budget deficits to around 7% of the gross domestic products. He expressed graditude to international donors saying, without their help, the 5th plan would not have achieved its goal. He promised to use their aid wisely and efficiently.
Listen to our audio files for more details in Lao.