Tue, 31 Jan 2023

VIENTIANE, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Fourth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly (Ninth Legislature) of Laos was held on Monday, giving the floor to the Lao prime minister to outline measures to address the country's ongoing financial and economic problems.

Ongoing complex changes in the region and the world have affected many countries and hindered Laos' efforts to resolve its economic problems, which have been steadily mounting over the years, the Lao National Radio on Tuesday quoted Lao National Assembly President Xaysomphone Phomvihane as saying at the opening ceremony.

In addition, he said Laos is facing new challenges including fluctuations in currency exchange rates and the skyrocketing price of goods and petrol, which is causing hardship for many.

Spelling out plans intended to ease the situation, Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh said his administration would focus on regulating currency exchange rates, the price of goods, money growth, and inflation, according to the report.

Laos is currently suffering from spiraling inflation. Inflation in Laos increased to 38.46 percent year-on-year in November from 36.75 percent in October, according to a report issued by the Lao Statistics Bureau on Monday.

Amid oil-driven inflation, Prime Minister Phankham promised that a long-term supply of petrol would be available in Laos after the country suffered a severe shortage of fuel in the middle of 2022.

Meanwhile, the government will continue to rein in expenditure as part of its austerity policy to combat the financial problems it is experiencing.

The head of the government assured that the government would strive to repay its foreign debts and prevent the country from going into default.

The Fourth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly (Ninth Legislature) of Laos will last through Dec. 30.

Items on the agenda include reports on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan, budget plan for 2022 and plans for 2023, and reports on achievements made in implementing the national agendas for 2022 to tackle the drug problem and economic and financial difficulties, as well as the plans for these in 2023.

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