VIENTIANE, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has called for all sectors and stakeholders to prepare for a smooth transition in plans to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2026.
Addressing a virtual meeting on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune stressed the importance of developing a smooth transition strategy to prepare for Laos' graduation from LDC status, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.
The meeting was a follow-up to the triennial review by the Committee for Development Policy earlier this year, which resulted in the recommendation that Laos be granted an extended five-year preparatory period, setting the official anticipated graduation for 2026.
The challenging circumstances of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its multi-dimensional impacts have threatened to revert hard-earned progress on socio-economic development over the last decades. This has further increased Laos' vulnerability, something that may make the ambition extra challenging to achieve.
Against this backdrop, Phoxay urged all sectors and stakeholders to be fully prepared. The urgency is particularly relevant to the key sectors responsible for fulfilling the three criteria for LDC graduation, while more investment in human capital is needed.
The deputy minister said all these efforts must be done in collaboration with development partners to ensure that any impacts resulting from the loss of international support for LDCs will not constrain the country's development momentum.
This will ensure the utilization of special support measures to help Laos graduate from LDC status in a smooth and sustainable manner.
United Nations Resident Coordinator to Laos Sara Sekkenes stressed the importance of the Doha LDC5 conference as an opportunity to prepare the conditions needed for a smooth transition, as well as advocating for necessary graduation support among the international community.
Sekkenes said that becoming an upper middle-income country with a less vulnerable economy, stronger human assets and a climbing GDP could provide the engine to propel Laos into delivering sustainable development for all. Enditem