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Concerns over Laos' strategy
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Jun 7, 2010

Concerns over Laos' strategy

 

HO CHI MINH CITY - LAOS, one of Asia's poorest nations, dreams of escaping from underdevelopment over the next decade but concerns have been raised about a growth strategy based on hydropower and other megaprojects.

The communist country's Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh told global business leaders and regional politicians on Sunday that his country aims for 'no less than' eight per cent annual economic growth to 2015.

Laos's economy has already been expanding at an annual average of seven percent in recent years, and the government aims 'to lift the country from underdevelopment by 2020,' Mr Bouasone told the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

But a group of non-governmental organisations in the rural-based society have urged the government to consider slowing the pace and scale of large foreign investment projects which, the group said, form the basis of the country's growth strategy.

'Massive investments have been made in extractive industries: mining, hydropower and industrial plantations,' the INGO Network said in a submission to the government.

'The main characteristics of such investments are: they are land-intensive, there is little value added in Laos, the labour force is often foreign, and there are high and potentially negative impacts on the environment and socio-economic development.' NGOs also asked the government to consider 'a more cautious development' of commercial agriculture which small, self-sufficient farmers in remote areas will have trouble adjusting to. Laos has a population of about seven million and is highly dependent on foreign donors. -- AFP


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Anonymous

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will us be in Natural Resource Trap...?

  ( the trap that mentioned in Collier Book published  2007),

 Like the country in Africa that have alot of natural resource but still poor due to natural resource trap...

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