Over half a century ago, Lao PDR began its journey to become a modern nation and committed itself to long-term development ambitions. It has delivered electricity, schools, roads, and has become an important energy exporter.
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May 8, 2014KEY FINDINGSIn the last 20 years, East Asia Pacific saw rising productivity amid a brisk structural transformation, with large movements of people into cities and higher output in agriculture,... Show More + manufacture and services. Countries that were poor a generation ago successfully integrated into the global value chain, taking advantage of low labor costs.The unprecedented economic development in East Asia Pacific has provided jobs that lifted millions of people out of poverty and has been a triumph of working people. The share of the population working or seeking work in most countries, including women, is higher than other nations with similar income levels.Current employment policies, though relatively stringent on paper but poorly enforced in reality, have failed to benefit most workers, favoring prime-aged men in salaried positions at the expense of women, youth and those with low skills. Empirical evidence shows that rising minimum wages in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand disp Show Less -
March 11, 2014Key FindingsA World Bank study explains how school-based management can help improve education quality.Lao PDR's education system faces challenges in meeting its goals of providing all students... Show More + with access to education and improving learning outcomes. While the government increased spending on education, it is facing challenges.One of the challenges is that the level of ‘non-wage, public recurrent expenditure’--- which pays for school materials, equipment, teacher training, and more--- is still low. As such, families still shoulder most of the spending for these in schools. The lack of education resources result into few learning materials and low quality facilities.In 2011, the government instituted a School Block Grant program to help improve education quality. This provides schools with resources (on a per student basis) to be used for non-wage expenditures on the things that matter most. It also gives provinces, districts and schools greater administrative control so Show Less -
Key FindingsEconomic outlookGrowth is projected at 7.2% in 2014, with a moderate slowdown on the 8.1% recorded for 2013. Growth continues to be fueled by the resource sector, continued FDI-financed investment... Show More + in hydropower, and accommodative macroeconomic policies. The resource sector is expected to provide a smaller direct contribution to growth in 2014. This is due to most major projects are under construction and not expected to commence operation this year. It is also due to expected lower gold production, which is likely to offset some of the gains expected from higher copper production.In the 2012/13 financial year, the fiscal deficit widened significantly, due to a combination of a large increase in public sector wages and benefits, and a decline in grants and mining revenues. The primary cause of the expanded deficit was due to an almost doubling of the total public expenditure on civil service wages and benefits.The 2013/14 budget plan indicates a slightly narrower fiscal Show Less -
KEY FINDINGSEconomic outlookLao PDR’s economy is projected to grow at 8% in 2013. The major contributors to this are services, hydropower, construction, and food processing sectors.The East Asia and Pacific... Show More + region is expected to experience solid growth in 2013. Lao PDR is expected to benefit from sustained demand from its key trading partners (particularly China, Thailand, and Vietnam), given their overall prospects in 2013.Lao PDR’s accession to the World Trade Organization in February 2013 was a step towards the establishment of a rules-based system of economic governance. It is an important part of efforts to promote the non-resource sectors.Headline inflation increased from 3.4% in November 2012 to 5.8% in March 2013, primarily due to higher food inflation resulting from higher prices of non-rice food items.The fiscal deficit is expected to rise notably in 2012/13 due to increased spending on public sector wage increases.Slower growth in revenues is expected as a result of lower mi Show Less -
The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Rice Research Institute produced the Lao PDR: Rice Policy 2012 report. This study is a first attempt to analyze rice sector in Lao PDR,... Show More + also commonly known as Laos, through an in-depth analysis which combines technical aspects of rice production with a broad-based socio-economic analysis. The Lao government commissioned the report.Key FindingsLao rice production has been increasing significantly since the early 1990s. It was driven by area expansion and increase in yields. Rice production in Laos has more than doubled over 1991–2011, and reached around 3.3 million tons of paddy in 2011.While Laos has still one of the highest per capita annual rice consumption levels in the world, there is evidence that it had reached the peak in mid-2000s and is now on a declining trend. A significant portion of the population of Laos is already located past the maximum rice per capita consumption level and this trend has b Show Less -