The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank have agreed to work together to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis and to discuss a policy framework for the recovery of the economy, strengthen macroeconomic stability and promote sustainable growth, especially during the implementation of the 9th National Socio- Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) for 2021-25.
These topics were discussed when the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, received a courtesy call from Mr Nicola Pontara, Country Manager of the World Bank in Laos, on Monday.
Dr Sonexay valued the visit by Mr Pontara and his team and appreciated the support of the World Bank to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the amicable talks, Dr Sonexay shared the measures that have been put in place by the Government of the Lao PDR to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak and lessen its impact on the society and economy.
Mr Pontara discussed the World Bank’s support to help the Lao Government recover from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. During Phase 1 of this support, the World Bank has mobilised US$18 million through a Covid-19 Rapid Response Project, which will help the country respond to short-term needs as well as strengthen the national health system for responding to future emergencies in the long run.
He also spoke about two future projects to be delivered under Phase 2 – including a New Cash Transfer Project worth US$40 million – to support individuals and households that have been most affected by the COVID-19; and a new SME Lending Project, also worth US$40 million, to provide additional liquidity to affected small and medium businesses as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.
The discussions on the NSEDP for the 9th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) focused on the achieving an inclusive pattern of growth, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the graduation from least developed country (LDC), and green growth.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has completed the first draft of the NSEDP, whose targets are focused on lifting it out of LDC status and achieving the SDGs by 2030, as well as as promoting environmentally sustainable green growth.
This plan focuses on six targets, including national economic growth, human resource development, livelihood of local residents, environment protection, infrastructure development and social management.
Information source: Vientiane Times