Laos national assembly concluded its seventh ordinary session with the approval of several reports and action plans, including an amendment to the country's investment law to allow foreign investors to buy and sell buildings and offices in Laos.
Thongteun Sayasane addressed reporters at a press conference marking the adjournment
of the national assembly's sixth legislature which ran from June 22 to July 9.
Mr. Thongteun said the just-ended session approved the government's report on the implementation of the 2008-2009 national socio-economic development plan, the adjustment of the original economic growth target and the projected goals for the 2009-10 plan. The Lao government has adjusted its 2008-09 economic growth rate down from 8 to 7.5 per cent, and said it intended to maintain this growth rate throughout its 2009-10 plan.
The assembly approved an increase in budget deficits from 4.56% to 5% of gross domestic product or GDP for 2008-2009, due to lower-than-expected earnings. To the 2009-2010 plan, the government has set a target for income earnings at 17% of GDP, with domestic earnings accounting for no less than 15% of GDP and the rest from loans and grants from abroad.
However, since public spendings are projected to reach more than 11,000 billion Kip or about 20.34% of GDP while earnings are projected at some 8,115 billion Kip, the Lao government will therefore need to increase its loans and grants from abroad by more than 2,889 billion Kip.
As for education, the national assembly approved the government's plan to expand the nation's education system to enable Lao youth to access pre-school education by 22%, primary education by 94%, secondary education by 69% and high school by 47%. Moreover, the government plans to boost immunization of Lao youth to 85%, and help eradicate poverty for 3% of all impoverished Lao citizens.
In addition, the national assembly passed four legislations including Fisheries Law, Water Worklaw, Lao Front for National Construction law and the amended Investment Law. The government expects the Lao Front for National Construction Law and Investment Law to significantly boost the national development in the new period. The LFNC law is expected to attract overseas Laotians to come back and contribute to the national development, while the amended investment law will grant foreign investors who invest more than 2.5 billion Kip in Laos the right to lease lands for 99 years as well as to buy and sell buildings in Laos.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.