It is an honour and a great pleasure for me to represent the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic to participate in this important and meaningful International Conference on Financing for Development.
Please allow me, on behalf of the Lao delegation, to congratulate you on your brilliant election to the presidency of the present Conference as well as for the successful opening of this big event. We would also like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the Government and People of Mexico for the warm welcome extended to us and for the excellent arrangements made for the Conference.
We have gathered today with the strong enthusiasm to address the challenges of financing for development around the world, particularly in developing countries, including the Least Developed Countries, the Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States. Our goal is to eradicate poverty, ensure sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development. In order to realise these goals and objectives, it requires a new partnership of cooperation between developed and developing countries. The "Monterrey Consensus" constitutes an important framework for the international community in dealing with the challenges of financing for development. We should dedicate ourselves and do everything possible to ensure full and effective implementation of the said and unanimously adopted document.
The Government of the Lao PDR has made the improvement of living standards and the alleviation of poverty of its multi - ethnic population the essence of its development goal in order to rid our country from the status of the Least Developed Countries by the year 2020. To achieve this goal, our Government has identified sustained economic growth with equity as the main instrument. In this context, we have defined 8 National Priority Programmes to serve as the main reference for our investment and planning system. Based on the capacity and the realities of our country, these 8 priority programmes are food production, commodity production, stabilization of shifting cultivation, rural development, infrastructure development, expansion of external economic relations and co-operation, human resource development and services development.
In order to translate these priorities programmes into action, there is a need for enormous financial resource. To this end, we have put up all our efforts and placed priority in the mobilization of domestic financial resource for development, the creation of better investment conditions and atmosphere to facilitate foreign direct investment, as well as the encouragement of the participation of the private sector in the development process. In spite of all these efforts made, due to the smallness and the limitations of the Lao economy, the challenges faced by the country as a Least Developed and Landlocked, The Lao PDR still needs support and assistance from outside. During the past years, we have received valuable support and assistance from friendly countries, International Development Agencies within the United Nations system, International Financial Institutions and Non Governmental Organizations for the social-economic development of country. On behalf of the Government and the People of Lao PDR, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude for those valuable assistance and support received.
For a number of developing countries, being Landlocked, not member of the World Trade Organization, and lack of the infrastructure and good road systems are among the main obstacles to the social economic development. The opening of a freer market has not led to trade and investment promotion yet. Therefore, we appeal to the international community to increase assistance and support in order to enable them to integrate into the world economy.
The Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, which Lao PDR currently chairs, is very pleased to see their special problems being recognized in the Monterrey Consensus, particularly on the issues relating to domestic resource mobilization, the foreign direct investment, and the international financial and technical cooperation for development. We are equally pleased that the Monterrey Consensus has recognized the importance of enhanced and predictable access to all markets for the exports of Landlocked Developing Countries. We urge for the full and effective implementation of the Monterrey Consensus as it will help this group of countries to further develop their respective economies.
As we enter the 21th century, The world is facing numerous difficulties
and challenges. As for the Lao PDR, we believe that the implementation
of the new economic mechanism, the reform of our economic structure based
on the uniqueness and the capacities of the country, the integration into
the region and the world, and the supports from friendly countries, and
international organizations, will greatly assist us in achieving the goal
of exiting from the Least Developed Countries status by 2020, and thus
will turn our country into a truly self - reliant one.
Statements at the Conference