Reflecting on Lao National Development Priorities in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and looking towards the 9th NSEDP
07 September 2020
In Lao PDR, following years of GDP growth averaging in excess of 7 percent, growth in 2020 will be severely impacted. Economic performance in major regional economies has also been adversely affected, with implications for trade, investment, and regional employment opportunities. In addition, globally, unprecedented investments in economic stimulus packages to respond the socio-economic fallout from the pandemic will likely have significant implications for the availability of international support in coming years. The effects of COVID-19 may therefore require adjustments to the national planning and SDG localization to ensure a fast recovery and sustained inclusive development progress.
To this end, in May 2020 the Ministry of Planning and Investment, on behalf of the Government of Lao PDR, requested the support of the UN in collaboration with various partners to identify the potential policy shifts needed for the coming 5-year period. A Multi-stakeholder Taskforce has been established to support the process, composed of relevant ministries, UN agencies, think tanks, development partners and the private sector.
Starting this week, the Multi-stakeholder Taskforce will convene a series of focused Policy Dialogues on priority themes including 1) Financing for Sustainable Development; 2) Trade, Private Sector, Value Chains and Tourism; 3) Skill Development and Sustainable Employment; 4) Human Capital; and 5) Green Growth, Resilience and Risk Management.
The objective of these dialogues is to reach a shared understanding of the key implications of COVID-19 and resulting policy priorities amongst a core set of national decision makers and development partners.
On 8 September, the first dialogue on Macro-Fiscal Framework and Financing for Sustainable Development will kick off, focusing on various financing aspects to support the development of the country against the backdrop of COVID-19. This dialogue will be co-chaired by Vice Minister of Finance H.E. Dr. Bounleua Sinxayvoravong and the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Sara Sekkenes.
This and following thematic dialogues will generate a set of strategic recommendations for consideration by relevant Ministries and Sector Working Groups, to complete the draft 9th NSEDP in light of the changing context posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to inform the SDG localization.