VIENTIANE, May 2 (Xinhua) -- All businesses and factories in Laos are required to increase the minimum wage from 900,000 kip (some 108 U.S. dollars) to 1.1 million kip (some 133 U.S. dollars) a month starting May 1, 2018.
The Lao government has approved workers' monthly minimum wage of 1.1 million kip, an increase of 11 percent from 900,000 kip, according to the announcement of Prime Minister's Office No. 560, dated April 20, 2018.
"The minimum wage increase will take effect from May 1, 2018," Lao News Agency (KPL) on Wednesday quoted Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Sompheng Xaysompheng as saying at a press conference in Lao capital Vientiane.
Minister Sompheng justified the raise of the minimum wage by claiming the fact that the country and the region have recorded an increase in economic growth and consequently, higher cost of living over the past couple of years.
"The minimum wage adjustment made this year is the eighth of its kind since 1991 when the minimum wage was just 2,600 kip," he said.
The monthly minimum wage was raised to 36,400 kip in 1997, 93,600 kip in 2000, 290,000 kip in 2005, and 348,000 kip in 2009. It was raised again to 620,000 kip in 2011 and 900,000 kip in 2015.
Vice President of the Lao Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vanthong Sithikoun said that the chamber will cooperate with relevant ministries to monitor the situation following the announcement of the minimum wage, and make goods prices under control.
In Laos, the minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay unskilled workers. It does not include social welfare benefits paid by employers.