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International Monetary Fund
This paper describes economic developments in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) during the 1990s. Economic reforms in Lao PDR that started in 1986 were supported by IMF arrangements in 1989–97. During those years, the economy grew annually at 5 percent to 8 percent and through prudent macroeconomic policies, the government managed to achieve broadly stable macroeconomic conditions. Meanwhile, structural reforms took shape, so that market processes are now at work in most segments of the economy. However, in 1997, economic conditions deteriorated and progress in structural reform slowed significantly.
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capital contributed to higher levels of transportation. Tourism also was a strong performer during 1997, with hotel and restaurant turnover increasing by 23 percent. However, the number of tourists dropped in early 1998, reflecting a decrease in visitors from Asian countries and recent problems encountered by Lao Aviation. The largest airplane in its fleet has been grounded at Bangkok airport because of lease payment arrears, disturbing the daily flight schedule to and from Bangkok. C. PRICES, EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES 10. Inflation increased from about 13

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prices were adjusted in April 2001 by an average of about 100 percent and further adjustments will be in June 2002; the electricity prices were adjusted by 3-3.5 percent per month through end-2001 and a decision on the future price adjustments required for cost recovery price is expected in April 2002; the Lao Aviation air fares were raised in July 2001 by 20 percent, will be raised again in April 2002 and further adjustments would be made to reach the cost recovery level by October, 2002. In conjunction with the WB, the authorities will begin the restructuring

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); and Lao Aviation; (ii) enhancing oversight and accountability of SOEs; and (iii) strengthening the financial position of key utility companies through further tariff increases to achieve cost recovery in 2003 for Nam Papa and Lao Aviation, and slightly later for EDL. Trade and exchange system reform The Government is committed to reform the trade system to support the development effort of the economy. Since October 11, 2001, import and export procedures have been further simplified. Within indicative annual import plans proposed by importers at the start of

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government from onlending of concessional loans) and transfers to the government. Low domestic fares have also caused financial difficulties for Lao Aviation, including defaults on loans. In the past couple of years, increases in foreign travelers (who pay much higher fares), landing fees, cutbacks in operating expenses, and modest domestic fare increases have enabled it to avoid further defaults. However, much higher domestic fares and improved management are needed to improve the quality of its service and replace aging and unreliable aircraft. The water company (Nam

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Lao Aviation for international transport is exempt. Also exempt are imports under bilateral grants and externally-funded humanitarian imports. Six rates ranging from 5 to 40 percent. The kinds of goods subject to these rates are as follows: Tax Rate (In percent) Raw materials, chemicals (including fertilizers), packaging materials, some machinery (incl. tractors and tools for agriculture), and essential consumer goods (rice, wheat flour, salt, baby foods, medicines, books and printed materials), cameras 5 Imported inputs (raw materials, machinery

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September quarter 2002 through treasury instruments. The government-funded recapitalization will be limited to their NPLs as of end 1999, which amounts to $50 million, about 3 percent of GDP. The banks will build up their capital to eventually reach a capital adequacy ratio of 12 percent. Resolution of NPLs : The recovering of NPLs will target large defaulters and be accompanied by comprehensive restructuring programs for large SOEs such as the Defense Ministry conglomerates Phoudoi and DAFI, and Lao Aviation. The 2001/02 budget includes funds for the clearance of

International Monetary Fund
This paper assesses Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and a Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Performance in the first year of the PRGF arrangement has been generally satisfactory. Fiscal slippages through September 2001, owing to weaknesses in the early implementation of the decentralization initiative, were corrected in the December quarter, thus bringing the fiscal program back on track. For 2001/02, the program aims at GDP growth of at least 5 percent, and inflation at about 6 percent by year-end.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines the reform of state-owned banks and enterprises in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). It highlights that recurring high levels of nonperforming loans of state-owned commercial banks have been caused by internal factors, including continued weak credit risk management, lack of skilled and experienced credit personnel, and poor credit culture. The paper outlines the recent and prospective improvements in public expenditure management, and briefly discusses the recent developments in expenditure by focusing on sectoral composition. The paper also summarizes the financial information on the hydroelectric power sector.