Asia and Pacific > Lao People's Democratic Republic

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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This technical assistance (TA) report on government finance statistics (GFS) covers the remote TA to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) during September 21–October 2 and December 14–18, 2020 and March 9–13 and April 19–23, 2021 (which was extended to May 2021). These peripatetic activities were conducted remotely due to the travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 situation. This report documents the main achievements from these activities. These activities were part of the GFS and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) project funded by the Government of Japan (JSA3) and implemented by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT).
Mariya Brussevich
This study examines the socio-economic impact of special economic zones (SEZs) in Cambodia---a prominent place-based policy established in 2005. The paper employs a database on existing and future SEZs in Cambodia with matched household surveys at the district level and documents stylized facts on SEZs in a low-income country setting. To identify causal effects of the SEZ program, the paper (i) constructs an alternative control group including future SEZ program participants and districts adjacent to SEZ hosts; and (ii) employs a propensity score weighting technique. The study finds that entry of SEZs disproportionately benefits female workers and leads to a decline of income inequality at a district level. However, the findings also suggest that land values in SEZ districts tend to rise while wage levels remain largely unchanged relative to other districts. In addition, the paper tests for socio-economic spillovers to surrounding areas and for agglomeration effects associated with clusters of multiple SEZs.
International Monetary Fund
This paper concludes that the existing framework remains broadly appropriate, but proposes methodological refinements to improve the assessment of market access, clarifies how serious short-term vulnerabilities are assessed, and proposes a modest extension of the transition period before graduation decisions become effective.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Lao People’s Democratic Republic (P.D.R) analyses that after more than a decade of high growth with low inflation, country is solidifying its progress toward graduating from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status. However, more than one-fifth of the population remains poor, regional disparities are persistent, and recurring natural disasters pose risks for poverty reduction. A large current account deficit, low level of reserves, a high level of debt, managed exchange rate, and a dollarized banking system amplify macro-vulnerabilities. The authorities recognize the current economic challenges and their comprehensive reform programs aim at rebalancing the economy from a resource based to a more diversified growth model by investing in human development and improving competitiveness. Modernizing monetary governance and building reserves supported by greater exchange rate flexibility will help to mitigate external shocks in an uncertain global environment.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance mission was conducted during July 2–13, 2018 to support measurement of Lao PDR’s national accounts statistics. The mission assisted with the development of a quarterly GDP time series, reviewed the published annual GDP time series, and developed recommendations to continue improving national accounts statistics compiled by the Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB). The mission built upon previous national accounts statistics missions conducted in April 2017 and January 2018.