Laotian Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh says the nation's economy continues to grow, though not at the projected rate.
Addressing the 5th session of the National Assembly last week, the Prime Minister said the national gross domestic products or GDP grew 7.9% during the first six months of the current fiscal year, slightly less the projected 8%. That translates into a per capita income of about $810, more than the projected $728.
National Assembly members, however are not impressed with the figures. One member says the numbers are impressive but hardly reflect reality or the true situation. Mr. Sikhamtane Mittalay, a deputy from Champassack, says the gap between the rich and the poor, and between urban and rural populations, are still far apart and urges the government to reduce the gap.
Statistics released by the Ministry of Planning show that while annual per capita for the capital city of Vientiane is roughly $1,500, it is less than $300 for the majority of people in provinces such as Attapeu, Sekong, Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha, Phongsaly, Xiengkhuang, Sayabouly, and others.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.