VIENTIANE, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government expects to pursue economic growth of at least 7 percent in 2018, the same level expected for 2017, local daily Vientiane Times reported Wednesday.
The Lao Finance Ministry is drafting the budget plan for 2018, which will be submitted to the upcoming ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) in October.
To attain the expected target, the ministry eyes collecting a total revenue of 26,618 billion kip (some 3.2 billion U.S. dollars), up from the 23,941 billion kip (some 2.9 billion U.S. dollars) expected for 2017.
The expected 26,618 billion kip (some 3.2 billion U.S. dollars) target includes grant aid, according to the ministry.
Expenditure for 2018 is expected to reach 33,320 billion kip (some 4.0 billion U.S. dollars), an increase from the 32,402 billion kip (some 3.9 billion U.S. dollars) set for 2017.
The budget deficit for 2018 is set at only 6,702 billion kip (some 812 million U.S. dollars), compared with 8,461 billion kip (some 1.0 billion U.S. dollars) for 2017.
Inflation rates are set to be no higher than 5 percent to ensure the exchange rate to remain at a manageable level.