Lao PDR has registered an impressive socioeconomic performance over the last two decades. It has enjoyed average economic growth of around 7 percent since the early 2000s. This has enabled Lao PDR to meet two out of three LDC graduation criteria for the first time in 2018. If Lao PDR sustains its current levels of socio-economic performance and meets the graduation criteria for the second time in the 2021 review, it will be recommended for graduation from the LDC category.
However, despite the significant progress made and the prospect of graduation, Lao PDR still faces a number of challenges in building productive capacities and supporting structural economic transformation. This national technical capacity building workshops aims to address these challenges.
The workshop is being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Lao PDR. It aims to assess the state of productive capacities in Lao PDR, and will closely examine the role of productive capacities in sustaining growth and accelerating Lao PDR’s graduation from the Least Developed Country category. The workshop will also assist in understanding opportunities and prospects as well as new challenges facing Lao PDR in post-graduation environment. It will further assist in identifying policy options aimed at maximizing the benefits and minimizing risks and pitfalls.
The technical workshop is expected to respond to the following broad question:
Where does Lao PDR stand now in meeting the criteria for graduation from the LDC category?
What are the prospects, opportunities and challenges for Lao PDR in post- graduation environment?
What policy options and strategies are necessary to be put in place in order to address the challenges?
How can Lao foster productive capacities and structural economic transformation towards sustainable graduation?
What will be the role of development partners in supporting Lao PDR in its efforts to build productive capacities and achieve graduation targets?
The workshop is a technical level consultation involving senior experts drawn from public institutions and representatives from the private sector and civil society of Lao PDR, including academic institutions and development partners.
The outcome of the technical level workshop will feed into a policy-level discussion, to be held later in the year, which will discuss, among other things, graduation and ways and means of placing productive capacities and structural transformation at the center of national policies and strategies of Lao PDR.
The technical national workshop will also serve as a pre-consultation for the Annual Round Table Meeting under the theme “Mid-Term Review of the implementation of the 8th NSEDP – Progress in Sustainable Development and Effective Development Cooperation” to take place in Vientiane at the end of November 2018.
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