March 21, 2011
The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has come up with a new approach to accelerate and sustain national development.
The newly elected Party Central Committee of the 9th Party Congress yesterday approved a resolution giving the green light for the Party to implement the newly proposed ‘four breakthrough steps’ to accelerate development of the landlocked country within next five years.
The introduction of the new breakthrough approach is in line with implementation of the Party’s renovation policy, which was adopted in 1986, aiming to bring the country into socialism driven by a market oriented economy.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, re-elected Politburo member Mr Somsavat Lengsavad said that the first of the four breakthroughs, which the Party will complete within the next five years, is to relieve the minds of people from old stereotypes, complacency and extremism.
“If we want to develop our nation, we have to rely on specificity of the country. We cannot copy development models from other countries. But it does not mean that we do not want to learn development lessons from other countries,” he said in response to questions from foreign diplomats and journalists.
Mr Somsavat, who is also Standing Deputy Prime Minister, said that the second breakthrough was to develop human resources, which had an important role in socio-economic development in Laos as the country is living under a new era of the intellect based economy.
“Under international integration circumstances, there are both opportunities and challenges, therefore we have to have human resources with knowledge and competence so they can integrate Laos with the international community and ensure fruit from the integration,” he said.
He said that the Party had agreed to prioritise the development of human resources and invest more funds to develop the health sector to ensure that Lao people benefit from knowledge and health, adding that education development and health are two of the millennium development goals which the Party is striving to achieve.
“The Party Congress has backed public investment plans, which the National Assembly has already approved, to invest 30 percent of state funds in the economic sector, 35 percent into social sectors including education, health and cultural affairs, and 35 percent for development of public infrastructure,” he said.
The third breakthrough is to address administrative procedures and management which impede commercial productivity rates and services, he said, adding that the Party Congress has learnt that a number of business and trade barriers remain, hindering investment.
He said the government had already imposed a policy to set up a single window service to facilitate investment, but the move had not worked effectively.
“The third breakthrough is very important and needs to be addressed within five years otherwise we will not be able to boost commercial production,” he said.
He also said that implementation of the third breakthrough step would be made as the country joins other Asean member states to implement the Asean Free Trade Area, as well as continuing to work towards World Trade Organisation membership.
Mr Somsavat said the fourth breakthrough step was to address poverty, adding that the Party congress had given guidance to mobilise funds from all available avenues to address poverty, from both domestic and foreign sources, adding that the Party had agreed to allow the government to offer investment incentives in rural areas.
In terms of household poverty reduction, Mr Somsavat said the Party expected to reduce the proportion of poor families in Laos from 20 percent of the population to 10 percent in 2015.