The 8th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) (2016 2020) aims for the Lao PDR to graduate from least-developed country status by 2020, and become an upper middle-income country by 2030.
Forecasts for 2017 indicate that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8%, resulting in GDP per capita of $2,579, and its poverty rate fell to 20.0%. Significant development challenges remain, however, including:
(i) a high fiscal deficit,
(ii) accumulated public and publicly guaranteed debt, and
(iii) an undiversified resource-based economy.
The government recognizes that equitable and inclusive growth requires targeted policy interventions for vulnerable groups, and the NSEDP commits sustained investment to improve access to and the quality of basic social services such as health care, with a view to improving health outcomes, especially for the poor, women, and children. Better health of the workforce results in lower absenteeism, higher labor productivity, and increased wages, all of which contribute to economic growth. Such effects are particularly important in countries where many are engaged in unskilled labor.
Ministry of Health
Vientiane, LAO PDR
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