Laos has one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, with an average annual increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of just over 8 per cent.
This statement was made by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Somchit Inthamith during the first workshop on Phase II of the Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) held in Vientiane on Friday.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), organised the workshop to outline the achievements of Phase I and discuss with stakeholders the final work plan and approach for the successful delivery of Phase II.
Somchit said this high level of growth is largely driven by foreign direct investment in the natural resources sector, with currently over half of the country’s GDP derived from mining, forestry, agriculture and hydropower.
“It is important to make our economic growth sustainable by ensuring that the relevant institutions expand on the substantial knowledge and experience we have gained from carrying out PEI Phase I and further develop the institutional system, tools and staff capacities to allow each department to effectively coordinate and deliver its mandates to reduce environmental degradation and improve the economic well-being of the people. Thus, the PEI programme must make strong contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” Somchit added.