Mekong Memo Laos Weekly, October 11, 2023: Business, politics, finance, trade & legal news.
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Here is your Mekong Memo Laos for the week of October 11, 2023:
Citizens Undeterred by Economic Challenges, Flock to Thailand
Despite facing high inflation and currency fluctuations, Lao residents continue to frequently travel to neighboring Thailand. Since the Lao-Thai borders reopened in May 2022, there's been a surge in Lao visitors to Thailand's northeastern provinces. Many cite reasons such as cheaper and cleaner petrol, superior hospital services, and a broader range of household appliances. Additionally, leisure and religious activities also draw Laotians across the border. Notably, the UD Town shopping center in Thailand has seen daily footfalls of over 10,000, mainly Thai and Lao nationals.
Read more: Laotian Times
Laos Champions Sustainable Food for Brighter Future
The Lao government has emphasized its dedication to establishing a sustainable food system that aligns with the nation's developmental objectives, environmental protection, and enhancement of livelihoods. This commitment was highlighted during a meeting discussing the outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit and the National Plan of Action on Food Systems Transformation. Lao Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Thongphath Vongmany, underscored the significance of sustainable food systems in realizing both national and global development targets.
Read more: Xinhua
September Brings Laos its Lowest Inflation Rate
In September 2023, Laos reported an inflation rate of 25.7%, marking a modest decline from August's 25.9% and the lowest rate in the past year, as per the Lao Statistics Bureau. The depreciation of the Lao kip, influenced by the import of one-third of goods used in price calculations, is a significant factor behind the inflation. Despite the recent easing, Laos maintains one of the region's highest inflation rates, impacting household incomes and dampening consumption and investment. The government is implementing measures to mitigate the effects of rising costs.
Read more: VietnamPlus
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