Lao economic growth may fall short of target: ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-06 23:02:27|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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VIENTIANE, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- A preliminary calculation has suggested that Lao economy will have grown by 6.83 percent in 2017, slightly lower than the target of 7 percent, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Kikeo Chanthabouly said.

The calculation was based on initial reports provided by sectors and local authorities. Both the service and agriculture sectors failed to meet their growth targets for the year, Chanthabouly said at a recent government meeting held in Lao capital Vientiane.

"Just calculating based on initial reports, the growth rate has already reached 6.83 percent," the deputy minister was quoted by Lao state-run media Vientiane Times as saying on Wednesday.

According to the calculation, the service sector continues to make the biggest contribution to GDP, accounting for 42.08 percent, even though it failed to meet the target set for this year. The service sector grew by 6.15 percent, less than the target of 7.8 percent.

"A decrease in tourist arrivals lowered the income earned by hotels, restaurants and tourism-related services"

The agriculture sector, which accounted for 16.34 percent of GDP, grew by just 2.78 percent, less than the target of 3.1 percent.

The impact of floods, drought and insect infestations in some areas contributed to the fact that dry season rice production fell to 95 percent of the plan. The amount of rainy season rice planted was only 46 percent of the plan.

However, rice production for the whole year was expected to reach 4.2 million tons, equal to 98.2 percent of the plan.

Kikeo said the government's ban on the export of unfinished wood products and the end of the annual logging quota were contributing factors to the poor performance recorded by agriculture.

Industry was the only sector whose growth exceeded the target set for this year. The sector, which accounted for 30 percent of GDP, grew by 9.53 percent, exceeding the target of 8.9 percent.

Earlier, both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank forecast that Lao economy would grow at 6.8 percent in 2017.