Integrity Legal

8th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the issue of inflation has been on the minds of policymakers in some of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Officials is Laos and Cambodia were recently noted by media outlets in those jurisdictions to have commented upon this issue. To quote directly from the official website of the Vientiane Times, VientianeTimes.org.la:

The government is concerned about rising inflation in Laos, triggered by the high price of oil and food, which is expected to impact on the economy and poverty reduction efforts. Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong said on Thursday the government is studying measures it can take to minimise the impacts on the economy and livelihoods of local people… Dr Liber warned that the government needs to respond to the situation quickly, as rising inflation will cause more serious impacts on the economy and efforts to reduce poverty levels. The government cabinet’s monthly meeting was held in Vientiane on April 25-26 and assigned the relevant sectors to study measures to minimise the impacts of rising fuel prices on the economy.

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further from this interesting article. Clearly, Lao officials are aware that inflation may become an acutely pressing issue at some point, but it would seem, at least for now, that measures are being considered to respond to issues pertaining to inflation in Laos.

Meanwhile, Laos is not the only ASEAN member nation whose officials are analyzing the issue of inflation. It would seem as though authorities in the Kingdom of Cambodia are also concerned about the possibility of inflation. To quote directly from the official website of the Phnom Penh Post, PhnomPenhPost.com:

Cambodia should expect price inflation of 6 percent this year, according to a United Nations report released yesterday, which government officials said was a tolerable level…Minister of Economy and Finance Deputy Secretary General Ros Seilava said at the report’s release in Phnom Penh that 6 percent inflation for 2011 was a manageable level. “A six to seven percent increase in inflation is expected this year, however to a certain level, this could be tolerated,” he said.

Again, the administration encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to gain further perspective and insight into this issue in a Cambodian context from a well written and informative posting.

It would seem apparent that issues associated with inflation are likely to be of possible concern for those conducting business in Cambodia or business in Laos going forward. The same may also be true for those conducting business in the neighboring Kingdom of Thailand. In any case, inflation is an important economic issue that must be discussed. It is certainly a positive sign that officials in Laos and Cambodia are aware of these issues, but the ramifications of possible future inflation have yet to be fully realized. Issues associated with inflation are a cause for concern in countries such as the United States, but in the context of so-called “developing nations” this issue can be extremely important. Therefore, those interested in the issue of inflation in a Southeast Asian context may be prudent to continue following this developing story.

For related information please see: Thailand business.


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