Handicrafts, processing industries grow, swelling exports
The government continues to concentrate on industrial sector development, in particular the handicrafts and processing industries, to ensure the continuous, stable and balanced growth of the economy this year.
In the first three months of the year, the value of handicrafts and processing industry products has reached 2 trillion kip or 29.8 percent of the plan, according to a National Assembly (NA) report.
The total value of handicrafts and processing industry products last year reached more than 8.58 trillion kip or over 34.5 percent of last year’s plan, Minister of Planning and Investment DrSouphanhKeomixay said.
The handicrafts and processing industry products that Laos has produced for the domestic market include food, drinks, clothes, paper and paper products while the expansion of the industry has helped the value of exports increase significantly, especially in Special and Specific Economic Zones.
The value of goods exported in the first three months has reached US$1.21 trillion or 27.2 percent of the plan while last year exports reached US$4.5 trillion, a surplus of 22.2 percent of that approved by the National Assembly.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Industry and Handicrafts Department will conduct a survey on processing factories and handicraft workshops across Laos that will help to compile statistics and also serve to attract more foreign investors.
The collection of statistics on the exact numbers of factories and handicraft workshops will enable the government to also boost foreign investment in Laos.
Last year, Laos had 35,000 to 36,000 factories including 500 large d plants, 600 medium d plants, over 12,000 small plants, and more than 20,000 family-owned workshops, according to the department.
It is expected the number of factories will increase this year because the number of domestic and foreign business operators is on the rise.
Economic growth in 2016 was steady at just over 7 percent, accounting for 93.6 percent of the forecasted total in the plan for the year approved by the National Assembly.
The agriculture sector grew by 2.7 percent accounting for 17.2 percent of GDP while the industrial sector grew by 12 percent accounting for 28.7 percent of GDP, and the service sector grew by 4.6 percent, making up 42.4 percent of GDP.