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Laos unable to rise above LDC status by 2020: PM

VIENTIANE, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the National Assembly that Laos is unable to graduate from the least developed country (LDC) list by 2020 as targeted, local daily Vientiane Times reported Monday.

The premier was responding to questions raised by members of parliament last Friday, at the ongoing fifth ordinary session of the assembly's Eighth Legislature.

In 2001, the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the government set a target for Laos to officially rise above poverty status by 2020, but this will not be possible, the premier admitted, referring to the result of an assessment carried out recently by the UN.

LDCs are assessed using three criteria: the human asset index which assesses health and education targets, economic vulnerability, and gross national income per capita.

Thongloun said it was sad news that Laos could not achieve the target by the set time. "We announced a target to graduate (from LDC status) by 2020, but we can't. We must endeavour further," he told the biannual assembly session.

Thongloun underlined the need for Laos to work harder to meet the set criteria by creating a firm foundation in preparation for graduation. 

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