Lao government will strive to achieve more than 49 trillion Lao kip (nearly six billion U.S. dollars) in goods traffic in the service sector next fiscal year, according to a report by Lao state-run Vientiane Times on Monday.
In the first nine months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the value of Lao goods traffic including wholesale and retail sales as well as service costs reached 30 trillion Lao kip (over 3.67 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 9.9 percent compared to same period last year.
Goods traffic value is projected to reach more than 41 trillion Lao kip (over five billion U.S. dollars) at the end of this year, 27.5 percent higher than the target.
Trade in foodstuffs will increase 13 percent, while there will be an increase of 15 percent in construction equipment, seven percent for petrol and gas products, nine percent for handicrafts and woven products, 9.8 percent for agricultural products, and 11.6 percent for electricity and home products.
In the tourism sector, the number of visitors is increasing so the country can earn direct revenue from tourism services each year. The number of tourists to Laos has reached 4.9 million people with total tourism revenue reported at 782 million U.S. dollars.
Laos has 1,957 officially designated tourist sites, of which 1,145 are natural attractions, 534 are of cultural interest, and 278 are historical sites. In order to promote tourism, the government has participated in the Tourism and International Arts Festival in Belarus, the International Travel Trade Show Berlin in Germany, and the International Tourism Expo in China and Thailand. Laos also hosted the ASEAN Ecotourism Forum in Champassak province this year. The government is also advertising tourism activities in various forms to domestic and foreign tourists.
Next fiscal year, the government will strive to upgrade the service sector to ensure continuous, stable and balanced growth of the economy. Authorities will strive to achieve more than 49 trillion Lao kip in goods traffic in the sector, enlarge or build new markets in remote areas, and develop an efficient transport system to bolster trade, production, investment, tourism and services, so as to make transport safe, convenient and modern and building stronger links to neighboring countries.
The government will also strive to attract 5.4 million tourists and generate revenue of about 875 million U.S. dollars.