The Lao government will strengthen external cooperation with different countries in the hope of attracting investments totalling 43.950 trillion kip ($4 billion), or 22.87 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), during 2022.

In addition, investments in the budget will total 3.950 trillion kip or 8.99 per cent of the total for government-invested projects, with official development assistance (ODA) expected to contribute 6.750 trillion kip or 15.36 per cent of the total for government-financed projects.

Domestic and foreign private investment projects are expected to be valued at 29.420 trillion kip, or 66.93 per cent of the total for government-owned investment projects. Investments from other sources are expected to contribute at least 3.830 trillion kip, or 8.71 per cent of the overall value of investments.

These figures were part of a report provided by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Sonexay Siphandone during a briefing for Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh.

He presented the report after chairing the annual meeting of the planning, investment and finance sectors on December 14.

Dr Sonexay said in the report that the implementation of the national socio-economic development plan for 2021 faced severe challenges due to the uncertainty in the world economy and various internal factors.

“However, the two sectors were able to achieve several outstanding results during the implementation of the plan for 2021, mainly the formulation and amendment of regulations and translating various existing regulations under the laws into practical action,” he said.

This year, several important laws were framed and amended, including the law on taxation, the value-added tax (VAT) law, the excise law, the law on budget and several more laws used as references for revenue collection.

In 2022, the government will strive to increase the GDP by at least 4.5 per cent, with a contribution of 2.7 per cent, or 16.7 per cent of the GDP, expected from the agriculture sector, 5.3 per cent (or 34.0 per cent of the GDP) from the industrial sector, 4.5 per cent (or 38.9 per cent of the GDP) from the services sector and 4.0 per cent (or 10.4 per cent of the GDP) from customs and taxation.

“In conclusion, we will focus on implementing various measures to reach the goals, the national socio-economic development plan and the fiscal budget for 2022, as the economic and financial difficulties have already mounted on the national agenda,” Dr Sonexay said.

At the meeting, the prime minister said the two ministries will have to remain committed to implement their plans and consider the discontinuation of any ineffective government-invested enterprises.

“Any government-funded enterprises or businesses that do not make good profits or create debts, they should be reconsidered for discontinuation or for finding solutions that avoid an increase in debts for the government,” the premier stressed.

Phankham also called for improving the business climate to enable the private sector to gain more benefits from the newly launched Laos-China Railway link and to connect with the regional and international economic communities.