PM Thongloun: Laos government is working hard to stabilize the price of consumer staples

  The government is endeavouring to stabilise the prices of various goods, including food items, against the backdrop of rising costs in the processing industry, the Prime Minister advised the National Assembly.

  The value of traded goods in the first four months of the year stood at 15,500 billion kip, an increase of 11.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The value represented 23.8 percent of the National Assembly’s (NA) approved annual plan, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the 7th
Ordinary Session of the National Assembly’s legislature this week.“The value of the processing industry and handicraft production touched 3,240 billion kip, an increase of 33.6 percent compared to the same period last year or 26.1 percent of NA’s approved plan of 12,386 billion kip,” he said.

  He noted that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce had recently issued One District One Product (ODOP) certification to 18 products across six business units.“Currently, the country comprises a total of 171 ODOP business units with 647 products,” Mr Thongloun informed.

  Food items in Laos are more expensive as domestic production is still minimal, and the cost of financing capital is high. More investment is required to minimise imported products, according to the ministry.Other factors effecting local production included the lack of advanced farming methods and modern equipment plus the relatively high cost of labour.

  Food prices in Laos are generally steady, but some fruit and vegetables are subject to seasonal fluctuations.However, the price of food items in Laos is still high compared to neighbouring countries, especially Thailand and Vietnam.

  Transport costs and the quality of logistics play a key role in the ability of firms in Laos to connect with regional and global value chains, according to a key finding of a World Bank report.High transport costs can undermine the competitiveness of Laos’ private sector.In the past, it has often been claimed that the cost of transport in Laos is higher than in the neighbouring countries.

  However, there is little evidence to back this up.The World Bank report aimed to fill in the gaps by investigating the costs and prices along several domestic transport routes.

  Transport operators were interviewed as part of the research.

  To manage the price of staples and services, the government, especially the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, has new regulations in place and different decrees, decisions, rules and announcements for implementation.