Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, yesterday chaired a national level meeting to discuss ways to put the strategy, which Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith endorsed on January 31, into practice.
Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Souphanh Keomixay, President of the National Economic Research Institute, Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh, ministers and senior government officials also attended the meeting, which took place at the Lao Plaza Hotel in Vientiane.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Somdy said the government viewed the implementation of the national green growth strategy as one of its priority tasks.
He said the strategy was in line with Party and government policies to direct the economy along a more sustainable path.
Laos has seen rapid economic growth over the past several years. But the economy is heavily reliant on the exploitation of natural resources, which will one day be depleted.
The government is working to improve the business climate so that the economic base can be diversified. In this context, Laos must build a knowledge-based economy but this will be possible only if the workforce acquires a new range of skills.
Mr Bouasone said development of the national green growth strategy began in 2017. Success in developing this public policy was possible thanks to extensive consultations with local and central authorities.
Business operators, civil society groups and international development partners also made contributions to the strategy.
The main aim of the strategy was to ensure strong and inclusive economic growth, public participation, efficient use of natural resources, and clean industries, Mr Bouasone said.
The strategy also aimed to help Laos build its capacity to respond to climate change.
To achieve these goals, it is essential to improve the business climate and enhance the capacity of the government to administer investment projects. Promoting gender equality, adapting to climate change, and improving Laos’ standing in the United Nations’ economic vulnerability index are also vital.
According to documents obtained by Vientiane Times from the meeting’s organising committee, key issues tabled for discussion included the establishment of a centre to promote green growth in Laos and the creation of coordinating mechanisms to implement the strategy.
Meeting participants also discussed preparations by Laos and the country’s readiness to become a member of the UN-sponsored Partnership for Action on Green Economy.
Policymakers believe it will be easier to obtain financial and technical support if Laos becomes a member of this UN organisation.