authorities formulated economic stimulating measures, aiming at mitigating the
impacts of the global financial crisis. At the same time, the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) approved a $20 million grant for natural resources
development and management projects in Laos.
Lao officials met in a recent meeting to
determine measures to help alleviate the impacts of the current world financial
and economic crisis. Government ministers and provincial governors from across the
country attended the meeting in Vientiane under the chairmanship of Prime
Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh. Almost 80 economic stimulating measures were determined
and approved, including tax relief measures which will reduce profit taxes for
private companies while increasing tariffs on the imports of luxury products. Officials
also stressed the importance of providing credits, promising to convince banks
to release loans of up to 1,496 billion Kip throughout this year to businesses in
different sectors for the production of goods, especially in agricultural
production which is considered the foundation of the country's economic growth,
as stated by Mr. Cheuang Sombounkhanh, Minister to the Prime Minister Office:
"These stimulating measures are needed to sustain
the nation's economic growth to promoteproduction, especially agricultural
production, to strength it during this year's planting season because if we don't,
a GDP growth will be impossible to achieve."
As for tourism promotion measure, the
government will consider visa fee reduction for foreign visitors as well as
visa extension for tourists with border passes. Official say they will also modify
domestic and foreign investment laws as well as taxation law to reduce profit and
earnings tax rates, especially profit taxes which will be adjusted down from
the current rate of 35% to 20%.
Meanwhile, the Asian Development
Bank or ADB says it has officially approved a $20 million grant for the
Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project in
Laos. The International Fund for
Agricultural Development will provide another $15 million and the Japanese
government's Special Fund, administered by ADB, will contribute $700 thousand
for training resources to support the same project. The main reason prompting funding
assistance from the three sectors is the fact that natural resources innt of natural resources by the Lao government.
Pongern reported from Bangkok.
(English translation by Buasawan Simmala and Dara Baccam)
to our audio files for more details in Lao.