Asia and Pacific > Lao People's Democratic Republic

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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In consultation with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) of Lao PDR, a virtual technical assistance (TA) mission supported by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) was conducted during October 4–29, 2021, by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT). This ongoing peripatetic capacity development mission was delivered virtually by the CDOT-based LTX with staggered remote meetings. The TA mainly worked with the Fiscal Policy and Law Department (FPLD) and the External Finance and Debt Management Department (EFDMD) on compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) and public sector debt statistics (PSDS) in line with international standards, as the agreed work plan with the authorities in the April/May 2021 TA mission.
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).
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.
Klaus-Peter Hellwig
I regress real GDP growth rates on the IMF’s growth forecasts and find that IMF forecasts behave similarly to those generated by overfitted models, placing too much weight on observable predictors and underestimating the forces of mean reversion. I identify several such variables that explain forecasts well but are not predictors of actual growth. I show that, at long horizons, IMF forecasts are little better than a forecasting rule that uses no information other than the historical global sample average growth rate (i.e., a constant). Given the large noise component in forecasts, particularly at longer horizons, the paper calls into question the usefulness of judgment-based medium and long-run forecasts for policy analysis, including for debt sustainability assessments, and points to statistical methods to improve forecast accuracy by taking into account the risk of overfitting.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy stabilized in 2016/17. The new government saw a challenging first year with lower-than-expected growth of 5.9 percent in 2016/17 mainly owing to weak agriculture production and exports, and temporary suspension of some construction projects in Yangon. Inflation moderated to 6.8 percent, and the current account deficit fell to about 3.9 percent of GDP in 2016/17 from 5.1 percent 2015/16. The medium-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable. Growth is expected to rebound to 6.7 percent in 2017/18 mainly supported by a recovering agriculture sector and exports. Higher fiscal spending anticipated in the second half of 2017/18 owing to buoyant tax revenues will also support growth.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Lao People’s Democratic Republic continues to perform well, supported by a favorable external environment and strong flows of foreign direct investment from its dynamic neighbors. Growth in 2017 was supported by the expansion of electricity exports, construction activity and financial services, but moderated to 6.8 percent as a result of the prohibition on illegal logging, tighter credit conditions and fewer tourist arrivals. Looking ahead, the outlook is positive, with growth on the order of 7 percent per year. Downside risks stem from high public debt and deficits, pockets of weakness, and high dollarization in the banking sector, and a vulnerable external position with low gross international reserves.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.

Abstract

This volume documents decisions, interpretations, and resolutions of the Executive Board and Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, as well as documents relating to the United Nations and other international organizations.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the real GDP growth of Lao People’s Democratic Republic is expected to moderate from 7.5 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2016. Domestic activity has slowed following a less favorable external environment, and credit growth has also moderated from a high level. As growth continues to moderate in the near-term, inflation is projected to remain in low single digits. The current account deficit is projected to widen to about 19 percent of GDP in 2017 owing to the execution of large infrastructure projects with foreign direct investment.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy grew broadly as expected in FY2015/16, at a healthy pace of 7.3 percent, despite massive floods during July–September 2015. Activity softened during the first half of FY2016/17, but is expected to recover in the second half on account of the resumption of construction in Yangon after a temporary halt for regulatory compliance purposes. The growth of agricultural production was softer than expected. The external environment has been weak owing to slowing demand from major trading partners and significant natural gas and other commodity price declines in 2015 and 2016. Macroeconomic imbalances persist, with continuing inflation pressure, an increased fiscal deficit, and a widening external current account deficit.
Miss Rita Mesias

Abstract

This Coordinated Direct Investment Survey Guide (Guide) has been prepared to assist economies in participating in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS). The CDIS is being conducted under the auspices of the Statistics Department of the IMF across a wide range of economies. The survey is conducted simultaneously by all participating economies; uses consistent definitions; and encourages best practices in collecting, compiling, and disseminating data on direct investment positions. The CDIS is thus an important tool in capturing world totals and the geographic distribution of direct investment positions, thereby contributing to important new understandings of the extent of globalization, and improving the overall quality of direct investment data worldwide. As of the writing of this updated Guide, more than 100 economies participate in the CDIS.