Southeast Asia

Sum of Measures 1—5 (Total Package)

Total Package in USD Million: 41.61
% of GDP (2020): 0.21%
% of Regional Total Package: 0.01%
Package Per Capita in USD: 5.80
Note: Measures 9 and 10 are added to the sum of Measures 1-5.
Measure Amount (Local) Amount (USD) Details Update Source
01 - Liquidity Support info_outline
01A - Short-term lending info_outline
01B - Support policies for short-term lending info_outline

No amount/estimate: 20 March 2020, The Bank of Lao P.D.R. (BOL) announced a reduction in the reserve requirements, from 10% to 8% on foreign exchange, and from 5% to 4% on local currency, effective on 2 April 2020.

01C - Forex operations info_outline

No amount/estimate: April 2020, The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has a managed exchange rate (crawl-like arrangement). Under this arrangement, the exchange rate has depreciated. No new balance of payment or capital control measures have been adopted.

02 - Credit creation info_outline LAK200,000,000,000 USD22,483,218
02A - Financial sector lending/funding info_outline LAK200,000,000,000 USD22,483,218

As of 10 September 2020, BOL has made available LAK200 billion for low interest rate SMEs loans through commercial banks and is preparing to allocate LAK1,800 billion as low interest bank loans for post-COVID-19 economic and business recovery.

02B - Support policies for long-term lending info_outline
02B1 - Interest rate adjustments

No amount/estimate: 30 March 2020, BOL cut its policy rate from 4% to 3% for 1-week loans; from 5% to 4% for 1–2 week loans; and from 10% to 9% for 2-week to 1-year loans.

02B2 - Other policies to support long-term lending

No amount/estimate: 26 March 2020, BOL issued a new credit policy for those impacted, asking banks and financial institutions to restructure loans and provide new loans to businesses affected by the outbreak. Under this policy, banks and financial institutions that implement debt restructuring and new loan provisions will benefit from regulatory forbearance on loan classification and provisioning.

02C - Loan guarantees
03 - Direct long-term lending info_outline
03A - Long-term lending info_outline
03B - Forbearance
04 - Equity support info_outline
05 - Health and income support LAK170,000,000,000 USD19,110,735
05A - Health support LAK130,000,000,000 USD14,614,092

(i) May 2020, LAK30 billion has been allocated for prevention and control. As of 1 July 2020, an additional budget request of LAK23.98 billion for rapid procurement of protective and medical equipment from State Budget was under process; (ii) As of June 2021, LAK100 billion has been allocated for prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19 cases, while an additional LAK100 billion from state reserve could be further allocated if the situation prolongs; (iii) No amount/estimate: As of 30 June 2021, the vaccination rate is about 10%. The government plans to vaccinate about 50% of the total population in 2021 and close to 70% by end-2022. Lao PDR has received vaccine doses from the People’s Republic of China (1,902,000 doses) and the COVAX Facility (233,000 doses). The government of Australia has also committed to a grant of 1 million doses, while purchase of Sputnik V vaccine from the Russian Federation is underway. The country expects to receive 6.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, including those to be procured under private donation.

05B - Income support LAK40,000,000,000 USD4,496,644
05B1 - Tax and contribution deferrals and policy changes

No amount/estimate: April 2020, Recent mitigation policies include: (i) deferring tax collection from tourism-related businesses for 3 months, (ii) postponing mandatory contribution to social security by affected businesses for 3 months, and (iii) extending the submission of the 2019 financial report (annual tax filing) by 1 month and road tax payment by 3 months.

05B2 - Tax and contribution rates reduction

No amount/estimate: April 2020, Recent mitigation policies include: (i) income tax exemption for both civil servants and employees of the private sector with income less than LAK5 million per month for 3 months, and (ii) profit tax exemption for microenterprises with annual income between LAK50–LAK400 million for 3 months, (iii) duty fee exemption for imports of goods to be used toward the outbreak.

05B3 - Subsidies to individuals and households LAK40,000,000,000 USD4,496,644

(i) May 2020, The government has agreed with an allowance of LAK500,000 per worker who currently participates in the Social Security Scheme. Of the 170,000 members, close to 80,000 will benefit from this scheme through June 2020 (Note that the estimated amount is LAK40 billion); (ii) No amount/estimate: 30 April 2021, Electricite du Laos (EDL) is to provide a 3% discount on electricity rates to residential consumers in provinces under lockdown.

05B4 - Subsidies to businesses
05B5 - Indirect income support
05B6 - No breakdown (income support)
05C - No breakdown (health and income support)
06 - Budget reallocation info_outline
07 - Central bank financing government
07A - Direct lending and reserve drawdown
07B - Secondary purchase: government securities
08 - International Assistance Received LAK2,638,900,762,423 USD296,654,904
08A - Swaps info_outline
08B - International loans/grants LAK2,638,900,762,423 USD296,654,904
08B1 - Asian Development Bank LAK228,081,230,476 USD25,640,000

(i) 27 January 2020, USD0.60 million under the Greater Mekong Subregion Health Security Project. As of 8 June 2020, the amount increased to USD0.86 million; (ii) 7 February 2020, USD0.34 million under the Strengthening Regional Health Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion-Additional Financing; (iii) 24 April 2020, USD0.75 million under the Policy Advice for COVID-19 Economic Recovery in Southeast Asia project; (iv) 17 May 2020, USD1.03 million is the estimated support under TA 9950-REG: Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of COVID-19 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases. As of 8 October 2021, the estimated support amounted to USD3.21 million; (v) 22 May 2020, USD20 million under the Greater Mekong Subregion Health Security Project (Additional Financing); (vi) 10 August 2020, USD0.05 million under the Sustaining the Gains of the Regional Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Additional Financing) Project; (vii) 13 August 2021, USD0.13 million under Strengthening Regional Health Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion; (viii) 3 September 2021, USD0.30 million under Supporting Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccination and Post-COVID-19 Health Security Response in Southeast Asia.

08B2 - Other LAK2,410,819,531,947 USD271,014,904

(i) 7 April 2020, The World Bank’s Regional Vice-Presidency of the East Asia and Pacific Region approved USD18 million for the Lao PDR to help the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lao PDR COVID-19 Response Project supports preparedness and emergency response activities, including infection prevention and control, case detection and contact tracing, case management and risk communication. It also supports the upgrade of surveillance capacity and the skills of health-care workers; (ii) May 2020, USD1 million under the United Nations (UN) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19 MPTF); (iii) 20 May 2020, The United States through the US Agency for International Development will provide health assistance amounting to USD4.4 million; (iv) 22 May 2020, The United States has committed an additional USD3.17 million in new funding support, provided through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC), for prevention, preparedness, and response activities in response to COVID-19 in Lao PDR; (v) 5 June 2020, The Japanese government has provided grant aid worth over LAK123 billion (JPY1.5 billion) for the purchase of medical equipment to support Lao PDRs’ efforts to cope with a further outbreak of COVID-19. An Exchange of Notes for the grant aid project entitled “Economic and Social Development Programme” was signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vientiane; (vi) 20 August 2020, The European Union has provided EUR2.5 million for Lao PDR under the Civil Society Action to Prevent and Mitigate COVID-19 project; (vii) As of 16 September 2020, Germany will provide about EUR1.7 million through an International Labour Organization (ILO) program to help the garment workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; (viii) 22 October 2020, USD40 million under Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Access to Finance Emergency Support and Recovery Project (Terms: Maturity = 30 years, Grace = 5 years); (ix) No amount/estimate: 14 November 2020, Cambodia decided to provide two million face masks and other medical supplies to Lao PDR; (x) 19 February 2021, The Lao PDR Ministry of Industry and Commerce launched a USD40 million emergency finance support project, backed by the World Bank, to help small and medium-sized businesses recover from the economic slowdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in October 2020 and signed by the government in November 2020; (xi) 23 February 2021, The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a USD57 million project to help Lao PDR promote sustainable forest management, improve protected area management, and enhance livelihoods opportunities in eight provinces across the country. The Lao Landscapes and Livelihoods Project will support economic recovery in light of the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on preservation of natural capital such as forests, biodiversity, water resources, soil, and land; (xii) No amount/estimate: 31 March 2021, Australia will extend further assistance with regard to the purchase of COVID-19 vaccine and its transport. It will also provide further technical assistance to prevent, control, and address the virus outbreak; (xiii) 4 May 2021, The government of Viet Nam provided Lao PDR with USD0.5 million as well as 35 medical personnel and supplies to help the country in its fight against COVID-19; (xiv) 5 May 2021, The government of People's Republic of China provided Lao PDR with 25 medical personnel and CNY10 million (USD1.5 million) worth of medical supplies to help the country in its fight against COVID-19; (xv) 13 May 2021, Australia will provide a grant of AUD15.2 million for the rollout of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Lao PDR; (xvi) 27 May 2021, The CK Power Public Company Limited (CK Power, a Thailand-based holding company engaged in the production and distribution of electricity) contributed THB1.5 million through the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane to the health department under the Ministry of Public Health, and to the health department of Xayaboury province, where CK Power is operating two hydroelectrical power plants; (xvii) 27 May 2021, The United States provided personal protective equipment and supplies to Lao PDR. This support is valued at USD203,000; (xviii) No amount/estimate: 7 June 2021, The GX Foundation (a non-profit charitable organization based in Hong Kong, China) provided medical supplies to support the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak; (xix) 30 June 2021, The government of the Republic of Korea provided walk-through virus test booths and a range of essential medical equipment worth USD1 million to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak; (xx) 10 June 2021, An additional USD15 million has been made available to help the Lao PDR stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, following an agreement between the World Bank and the government. This additional funding is split between an International Development Association (IDA) credit of USD10 million and a USD5 million grant from the Health Emergency Response and Preparedness Multi-Donor Trust Fund; (xxi) No amount/estimate: As of 30 June 2021, The government of Australia committed to a grant of 1 million doses of COVID vaccine; (xxii) 12 July 2021, The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provided food assistance valued at USD0.79 million for migrant workers returning from neighboring countries during their stay at quarantine centers in Lao PDR. This scheme will be rolled out by the World Food Programme (WFP) and partners to offer nutritious meals three times a day for returning migrant workers. This will be sufficient to give 335,000 meals to an estimated 8,000 people housed in quarantine centers for a period of two and a half months; (xxiii) No amount/estimate: 14 July 2021, More than one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are set to arrive in Lao PDR on 15 July 2021, giving a boost to the government’s efforts to protect people against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines will be provided via the COVAX Facility; (xxiv) No amount/estimate: 28 July 2021, The People’s Republic of China will provide one million doses of its Sinopharm vaccine, while the UK government will provide 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine; (xxv) No amount/estimate: 3 August 2021, The Government of Japan decided to provide approximately 0.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in Japan, through the COVAX facility, to Lao PDR, as part of assistance to contribute to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19; (xxvi) 30 August 2021, The Australian government donated medical equipment worth AUD2.25 million. The contribution will help the government to increase its virus testing capacity and expedite testing in the provinces; (xxvii) 3 September 2021, The World Bank and the Government of Lao PDR announced the launch of a USD47 million project aimed at improving pre-school and primary education performance and enhancing educational systems nationwide; (xxviii) 1 October 2021, The United States has donated food and hygiene packages valued at over USD0.1 million to the Provincial Emergency Operations Committees in Khammouane and Savannakhet Provinces; (xxix) 3 October 2021, Cambodia’s Prince Holding Group has donated USD1 million in response to calls from Cambodian authorities to strengthen cooperation with Lao PDR in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; (xxx) 19 October 2021, The World Bank and the Government of Lao PDR have agreed to scale up a Competitiveness and Trade Project that will improve the ability of businesses to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. The additional financing will provide a USD6.5 million grant through the Lao Competitiveness and Trade Multi-Donor Trust Fund supported by Australia, Ireland, and the United States; (xxxi) No amount/estimate: 6 October 2021, The Ministry of Health received a donation of 30,000 doses of the Sputnik Light vaccine from the Russian Embassy to assist the country’ efforts to control the spread of COVID-19; (xxxii) 25 October 2021, The Government of Viet Nam has donated USD2.21 million as well as medical equipment worth USD2.27 million to the Government of Lao PDR for COVID-19 response [update]; (xxxiii) No amount/estimate: 4 November 2021, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) handed over COVID-19 rapid tests to the Ministry of Health [update].

09 - International Assistance Provided LAK100,000,000 USD11,242
09A - Swaps info_outline
09B - International loans/grants LAK100,000,000 USD11,242

2 June 2021, Phongsaly province of Lao PDR provided LAK100 million assistance to Viet Nam to help combat COVID-19.

10 - No breakdown

No amount/estimate: (i) April 2020, A proposed 13-measure economic stimulus package has been endorsed by the cabinet. Measures include establishing a separate task force to address the economic impact of COVID-19; and (ii) May 2020, A new electricity tariff, to ensure supply of electricity, in effect from 1 May 2020 through 31 December 2025, has been approved. Extra efforts to ensure revenue collections through automated platforms and inspections targeting at stockpiling of essential goods are being considered.

11 - Other Economic Measures

(i) As of 20 August 2020, Cuts in administrative expenses by at least 30% of the annual budget for ministries and central organizations and 10% for local authorities have been approved and intentions to cut unnecessary spending in proportion to revenue shortfall have been signaled; (ii) The Taskforce Committee has launched a fundraising campaign from the public. As of 1 June 2020, about LAK17.5 billion in cash and LAK85.5 billion in kind have been raised.

12 - Non-Economic Measures
12A - Measures affecting travel and transport (local and international)

(i) 4 May 2020: Travel and public transport within each province are now permitted but inter-provincial travel and public transport including air transport; (ii) 18 May 2020: In country travel and public transport are now permitted; (iii) 10 June 2020, The government announced that the last patient has fully recovered and discharged from hospital. Consequently: (a) In-country travel and public transport are fully operational; (b) With the exception of certain checkpoints allowed by the government, border checkpoints for individuals and transportation of goods, will remain closed as will all international borders. However, foreign businessmen, investors, workers for large investment projects as well as diplomats and foreign experts with proper medical certification and authorization can enter the country but have to be quarantined for 14 days; (iv) 1-31 August 2020: (a) Shuttle flights will be suspended; (b) Closure of traditional and local border checkpoints, except those permitted by the government for goods transport. International checkpoints remain closed for regular travellers, except essential crossings for Lao and foreign nationals who are permitted by the task force committee. Transportation of goods via the international checkpoints is allowed as normal; and (c) Suspending the issuing of tourist or visiting visas for those travelling from or transiting via countries where there is COVID-19 outbreak. Foreign diplomats, the staff of international organizations, experts, investors, business people, technical personnel, and workers deemed essential to take up missions in Lao PDR can enter the country upon approval by the task force committee; (v) 1 October 2020, Ban on charter flights will be eased; (vi) As of 3 February 2021, The Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security, in cooperation with authorities in Vientiane and the provinces, especially border provinces, have been urged to strengthen border patrols until 28 February 2021; (vii) 13 May 2021, The authorities in central and southern provinces that share borders with Thailand are taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by setting up more checkpoints and patrolling border areas to prevent more imported cases of the virus.

12B - Measures affecting business and workplace

(i) April 2020, Entertainment venues remain closed; (ii) 4 May 2020: (a) The new loosened measures allow the reopening of public offices and some private sector businesses and is expected to last until 17 May 2020; (b) Restaurants, hotels, resorts, guesthouses, coffee shops, barbershops, beauty salons as well as wholesale and retail outlets can resume their businesses, however, large-scale manufacturing plants and investment projects with large number of employees must abide by strict preventative measures introduced by the National Taskforce; (iii) 18 May 2020: (a) The new loosened measures allow public offices and businesses to resume and are expected to last until 1 June 2020; (b) Restaurants, food vendors, retail and wholesale outlets, fresh markets, supermarkets, personal care services as well as development projects, companies and factories are also permitted to resume operations, but must abide by strict preventative measures introduced by the National Taskforce; and (c) Border checkpoints, night markets, and entertainment venues remain closed; and (d) Price control of essential goods is still in place; (iv) 10 June 2020: (a) All schools have resumed but must ensure hygiene and distancing practices; (b) All indoor and outdoor sporting activities are now permitted and audiences are allowed, however, entertainment venues remain closed.

12C - Others

(i) April 2020: (a) Schools remain closed; (b) Price control of essential goods is still in place; and (c) The Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention, Control and Response is monitoring latest developments and coordinates the authorities’ response. A separate Taskforce Committee and its seven working groups are in place to address the economic impact of the crisis; (ii) 4 May 2020: (a) A nationwide lockdown has been partially lifted; and (b) large gatherings are still suspended and banned; (iii) 18 May 2020: (a) Some classes at primary, and lower and upper secondary schools can resume on May 18 while all others are slated to open on June 2; and (b) All indoor and outdoor sporting activities are now permitted; (iv) 10 June 2020: (a) Large gatherings, including traditional ceremonies and celebrations, are now allowed; and (b) Price control of essential goods is still in place; (v) 1-31 August 2020, Prevention measures will be continuously imposed like closure of entertainment venues, karaoke, and gaming shops; (vi) 1 October 2020, The government has extended its COVID-19 prevention measures until October 31; (vii) 5 April 2021, The government extended its COVID-19 prevention measures while also allowing people in Lao PDR to celebrate Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) on 14-16 April 2021; (viii) 22 April 2021, The Ministry of Education and Sports issued a notice ordering all public and private educational facilities from preschools to universities to be closed across Vientiane Capital; (ix) 4 May 2021, The National Taskforce extended the lockdown period until 20 May 2021; (x) 4 June 2021, Education authorities have cancelled end-of-year exams. Under the new ruling, primary school students in Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 and secondary school students in Grades 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 who scored an average of 5 or more in all subjects (as assessed five months ago) will automatically enter a higher grade next academic year; (xi) 4 June 2021, Under the Prime Ministerial Order No. 15, the government extended the lockdown for another 15 days until 19 June 2021, with restrictions to continue in areas of infection known as red zones, while some virus control measures have been eased; (xii) 21 June 2021, The government has extended the lockdown for another 15 days until 4 July 2021 but has eased some restrictions to alleviate the hardship caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and gradually normalize the situation; (xiii) 5 July 2021: (a) The National Taskforce for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has announced that people living in the Lao PDR will be required to install the LaoKYC app on their smartphone and check in with a QR code as part of new contact tracing regulations. The use of the QR code will allow health authorities to monitor the movement of the population, making it easier to undertake contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 localized outbreak; (b) 5 July 2021, The government has decided to extend a Prime Minister’s Order designed to control the COVID-19 outbreak for another 15 days, amid growing concerns over the surge in infections in neighboring countries; (xiv) 19 August 2021, Lao PDR extended COVID-19 restriction measures until 2 September 2021; (xv) 9 September 2021, The capital’s Taskforce for COVID-19 Prevention and Control recently issued a notice announcing the fines, which will range from LAK0.5 to LAK10 million depending on the severity of the offense; (xvi) 19 September 2021, Vientiane authorities ordered a full lockdown of the capital. Travel is banned on roads in the capital from 10 PM to 5 AM. Exceptions will be made for essential trips; (xvii) 20 September 2021, The Vientiane Capital Department of Industry and Commerce has issued a notice ordering the temporary closure of a number of retail businesses including supermarkets and minimarts on 20-30 September 2021.Meanwhile, fresh markets and petrol stations may open from 6 AM to 6 PM. The sale of alcohol at any location is strictly prohibited during this time. Failure to comply with COVID-19 prevention measures and lockdown regulations will be fined up to LAK10 million and face permanent closure; (xviii) 15 October 2021, The Government of Lao PDR has extended COVID-19 restriction measures for another 15 days until 30 October 2021; (xix) 31 October 2021, The Government of Lao PDR has extended COVID-19 restriction measures until 14 November 2021 and has included provisions for the reopening of schools [update].