VIENTIANE, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Lao economy is set to remain one of the fastest growing in the region in coming years as long as the global economic recovery remains on track, local daily Vientiane Times reported Thursday.
The World Bank projected the Lao economy to expand at around 7 percent in 2017-19, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the Lao economy would grow at 6.8 percent in 2017 despite the country's revenue shortfalls and complex changes occurring in the world economy.
Local independent economist Mana Southichak who has led several economic research efforts on behalf of the Lao government, international organizations and private companies, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that the World Bank and IMF remain optimistic about Lao economy.
"The World Bank and IMF might be seeing that several hydropower projects will be completed and begin operation next year which should further drive economic growth in our country," he said, "Higher growth of Laos' trading partners particularly China will create stronger momentum for the economy of our nation to grow at a high rate."
According to an IMF report, China continues to transit to a more sustainable growth path enacting reforms that have advanced across a broad domain, meaning the country has improved potential to sustain high growth over the medium term safely.
Mana said strong growth in China would drive demand for commodities produced in Laos notably rubber, mining and other agriculture products.
Construction of the Laos-China railway linking Vientiane to China's Yunnan province is underway which promises to contribute significantly to the growth of the Lao economy, said the daily.
Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde issued a statement at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday saying that the global economic recovery was on track but warned about complacency and risks, including elevated financial vulnerabilities, low productivity and rising inequality.