Laotian top official: Kip is not over-valued

By Anya Palm

Following an assessment from the International Monetary Fund that the Laotian currency, kip, is too strong, a high level trade official yesterday came out in defense of the kip.

Last year the IMF wrote in their country report that payments trends suggested that the kip may be as much as 20 percent over-valued. Echoing that assessment, the Asian Development Bank warns that the Laotian external deficit is widening to a level that may be dangerous for economic stability.

But in a rare statement to Western media yesterday, Laotian head of trade policy at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Laohoua Cheoching, rejected the warnings:

“The Lao currency should stay stable. If you just make the kip weaker, what is the benefit of it?,” he said.