In September 2019, Professor Toshiro Nishizawa had a series of meetings with high level officials in Lao PDR in the presence of Mr. Keizo Takewaka, Ambassador of Japan to Lao PDR. A meeting with Mr. Malaithong Kommasith, Deputy Minister at Prime Minister’s Office, focused on policy priorities for the Lao government. A conversation with Mrs. Vathana Dalaloy, Deputy Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, clarified implications of the exchange rate regime and of the banking sector for fiscal stabilization. A dialogue at the National Institute for Economic Research (NIER) headed by Dr. Bouasone Bouphavanh, NIER President and the former Prime Minister, helped prepare a better coordination plan among key stakeholders for effective policy implementation.
As one of the bilateral initiatives between the governments of Japan and Lao PDR, Joint Policy Research and Dialogue Program for Fiscal Stabilization in Lao PDR was launched in March 2018. The shared recognition of fiscal stabilization as a vital foundation for sustainable development led to the launch of the Program. Four working groups are in place under the Program to cover respective issues with the implications for fiscal stabilization. Professor Nishizawa serves as the lead researcher of Working Group 1, which aims to assess fiscal risks, to identify challenges in fiscal and debt management, to indicate policy imperatives for fiscal stabilization and to suggest feasible policy options with a view to contributing to the formulation of the 9th Five-Year Plan.