Lao Economy Expected to Grow by 4 pct in 2023, 2024: IMF

Photo taken on Feb. 25, 2022 shows a view of the ancient town of Luang Prabang, in Laos. Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua

VIENTIANE -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Laos will see economic growth of 4 percent in 2023 and 2024, thanks to China reopening its borders and removing travel restrictions.

In its April World Economic Outlook, the IMF said that the lifting of travel restrictions and the reopening of China will contribute to regional economic growth, including Laos.

The reopening and growth of its economy will likely generate positive spillovers, with even greater spillovers for countries with stronger trade links and reliance on Chinese tourism, according to a report from the IMF's website on Thursday.

According to the IMF, while the global economy is expected to see slower growth, the economic growth prospects for emerging markets and developing Asia are on average stronger than for advanced economies. On average, growth is expected to be 3.9 percent in 2023 and to rise to 4.2 percent in 2024.

One of the main challenges for Laos in the coming months is to curb inflation, as the current rising cost of goods and services is creating extra hardship for people.

Inflation in Laos fell slightly to 40.97 percent in March, down from the 41.26 percent recorded in February, but the cost of all goods and services remains high, according to the Lao Statistics Bureau. 

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