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.