May 20, 2017 01:00 By VIENTIANE TIMES ASIA NEWS NETWORK VIENTIANE
THE LAO government now has some takeaways from Thailand’s experiences on macroeconomic management as it gets set to promote more socioeconomic development, says a senior Thai economist.
Well-known Thai economist, politician and former deputy prime minister Veerapong Ramangkul was invited to share the experiences of Thailand at a seminar on “The Regional Economic Outlook and Thailand’s Experiences on Macroeconomic Management” held here on Thursday.
Laos has great potential in its socioeconomic development, especially in the energy sector because of its geographical position.
“Laos is located in the middle of a number of countries with large populations where large markets exist, so the opportunity for Laos to move forward in its socioeconomic development is bright,” he said.
“But all in all, each country’s efforts to develop its economy will always come with challenges and barricades that will need to be addressed immediately,” he said.
Over the past three decades, Thailand has experienced many challenges but the problems had been addressed before they got out of control.
He also talked about Thailand’s experiences with imports and exports, tax systems and foreign investment.
The government is implementing its Eighth Five-Year National Socioeconomic Development Plan (NSEDP), which paves the way for Laos’ graduation from least developed country (LDC) status.
However, experts suggest |that necessary tools, recommendations and advice are needed from experienced individuals as well as regional and international communities to contribute to the implementation of the NSEDP and achieve its goals.
Government officials say NSEDP implementation will play a strong role in the achievement of the National Strategy on Socioeonomic Development 2025 as well as the country’s sustainable development goals.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Duangdy said in his remarks at the seminar that the government has outlined the overall goal of its Eighth NSEDP, which will lead the country out of LDC status by 2020.
“This year is the second year that Laos has been implementing its (NSEDP) plan. It has been a challenging year so far because of domestic, regional and international circumstances being filled with both advantages and disadvantages,” he said.
The government was now paying strict attention to the management of the macroeconomy to ensure the stability of the economic structure as a whole, he said.
In another bid to support the growth and stability of the economy, the government has formed an economic committee comprising the ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment, Industry and Commerce, Energy and Mines, Public Works and Transport, Information, Culture and Tourism, the National Institute for Economic Research and the Bank of Laos.
“This economic team will play a significant role in supporting the growth of socioeconomic development as well as promoting and upgrading the productivity of the macroeconomy.
“The committee will meet monthly to monitor the implementation of the NSEDP,” he said.