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World > Asia > Laos > Economy (Facts)

Laos - Economy (Facts)
Economy - overview: The government of Laos, one of the few remaining official Communist states, began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, were striking - growth averaged 6% per year in 1988-2006 except during the short-lived drop caused by the Asian financial crisis beginning in 1997. Despite this high growth rate, Laos remains a country with a primitive infrastructure. It has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications, though the government is sponsoring major improvements in the road system with possible support from Japan. Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture, dominated by rice, accounts for about half of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. The economy will continue to benefit from aid by the IMF and other international sources and from new foreign investment in hydropower and mining. Construction will be another strong economic driver, especially as hydroelectric dam and road projects gain steam. Several policy changes since 2004 may help spur growth. In late 2004, Laos gained Normal Trade Relations status with the US, allowing Laos-based producers to benefit from lower tariffs on exports. Laos is taking steps to join the World Trade Organization in the next few years; the resulting trade policy reforms will improve the business environment. On the fiscal side, a value-added tax (VAT) regime, slated to begin in 2008, will streamline the government's inefficient tax system.
GDP - real growth rate: 7.4% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $13.63 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.773 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,100 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 43.4%
industry: 30.6%
services: 26% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30.7% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 30.6% (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.8% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 2.1 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2.4% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $400 million
expenditures: $537.4 million; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: copper, tin, and gypsum mining; timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, tourism, cement
Industrial production growth rate: 15.7% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.936 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 3.26 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 600 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 200 million kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption: 3,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry
Exports: $982.2 million (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: garments, wood products, coffee, electricity, tin
Exports - partners: Thailand 42.4%, Vietnam 10%, China 4.2%, Malaysia 4.2% (2006)
Imports: $1.376 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods
Imports - partners: Thailand 69%, China 11.4%, Vietnam 5.6% (2006)
Debt - external: $3.179 billion (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $379 million (2006 est.)
Currency: Lao Kip (LAK)
Currency code: LAK
Exchange rates: kips per US dollar - 10,235 (2006), 10,820 (2005), 10,585.5 (2004), 10,569 (2003), 10,056.3 (2002)
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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