World Class Economic Research in Laos
Vanthana Nolintha is one of the leading economists and economic researchers in Laos. He is currently Acting Director of the Macroeconomic Research Division at the National Economic Research Institute (NERI). Vanthana developed his strong interest in economics through his undergraduate study in business and commerce at Monash University, Melbourne, under an Australia Awards Scholarship.
At NERI, Vanthana’s work has helped both the Lao government and the private sector. He conducts research on macroeconomic issues to support the formation of the country's long term development strategies, and trains government officials in macroeconomic analysis at central and provincial level.
“Our research and our monitoring report go directly to the government and support their decision making in several important economic matters. During the time of external shocks, our research has supported the government by providing policy recommendations on how to minimize the impacts,” Vanthana says. For the private sector, his research findings also provide evidence based information so they can make more informed decisions. Vanthana also helped develop the country’s new Macroeconomic Model and short term Macroeconomic Indexes. “With these tools, our national socioeconomic development plan and our long-term development strategy become more scientific based” he continued.
Vanthana acknowledges that experiences and skills gained from study in Australia have helped a lot.
| “I work as an economic researcher hence the analytical skills, self-discipline learning and academic honesty that I gained from studying in Australia helped me to advance my career,”
“I work as an economic researcher hence the analytical skills, self-discipline learning and academic honesty that I gained from studying in Australia helped me to advance my career,” he said. “Very importantly, I have built a strong network with friends from Laos and overseas which become important asset for my future career and life-long friendship,” he added.
Following his undergraduate study, Vanthana returned to Australia to complete a Masters degree in Development and International Economics at the Australian National University, Canberra, under an Australia-IMF Scholarship. But Vanthana has still not stopped learning – he is currently studying for a PhD in economics in Japan.