unbekannter Gast

Laos: Economy#

The government of Laos, one of the few remaining one-party communist states, began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. Economic growth averaged 6% per year from 1988-2008 except during the short-lived drop caused by the Asian financial crisis that began in 1997. Laos' growth has more recently been amongst the fastest in Asia and averaged nearly 8% per year for the last decade.

Nevertheless, Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. It has a basic, but improving, road system, and limited external and internal land-line telecommunications. Electricity is available to 83% of the population. Agriculture, dominated by rice cultivation in lowland areas, accounts for about 25% of GDP and 73% of total employment.

Laos' economy is heavily dependent on capital-intensive natural resource exports. The economy has benefited from high-profile foreign direct investment in hydropower dams along the Mekong River, copper and gold mining, logging, and construction, although some projects in these industries have drawn criticism for their environmental impacts.

Laos gained Normal Trade Relations status with the US in 2004 and applied for Generalized System of Preferences trade benefits in 2013 after being admitted to the World Trade Organization earlier in the year. Laos began a one-year chairmanship of ASEAN in January 2016. Laos is in the process of implementing a value-added tax system. The government appears committed to raising the country's profile among foreign investors and has developed special economic zones replete with generous tax incentives, but a small labor pool remains an impediment to investment. Laos also has ongoing problems with the business environment, including onerous registration requirements, a gap between legislation and implementation, and unclear or conflicting regulations.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$40.96 billion (2016 est.)
$38.11 billion (2015 est.)
$35.43 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$13.76 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate7.5% (2016 est.)
7.6% (2015 est.)
7.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,700 (2016 est.)
$5,400 (2015 est.)
$5,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving25% of GDP (2016 est.)
20% of GDP (2015 est.)
25.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 62.6%
government consumption: 14.1%
investment in fixed capital: 33.1%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 47.2%
imports of goods and services: -58% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 21.3%
industry: 32.5%
services: 39.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, tea, peanuts, rice; cassava (manioc, tapioca), water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry
Industriesmining (copper, tin, gold, gypsum); timber, electric power, agricultural processing, rubber, construction, garments, cement, tourism
Industrial production growth rate8% (2016 est.)
Labor force3.5 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 73.1%
industry: 6.1%
services: 20.6% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate1.3% (2012 est.)
1.4% (2014 est.)
Population below poverty line22% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index36.7 (2008)
34.6 (2002)
Budgetrevenues: $2.882 billion
expenditures: $3.822 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues20.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt61.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
61.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.7% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.3% (31 December 2010)
4% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate16.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
18.2% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.161 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.132 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$7.782 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.196 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$8.135 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.231 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.012 billion (2012 est.)
$576.8 million (2011 est.)
Current account balance-$2.471 billion (2016 est.)
-$2.904 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$3.075 billion (2016 est.)
$2.928 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditieswood products, coffee, electricity, tin, copper, gold, cassava
Exports - partnersThailand 30.4%, China 27%, Vietnam 17.6% (2015)
Imports$3.936 billion (2016 est.)
$4.058 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods
Imports - partnersThailand 60.9%, China 18.6%, Vietnam 7.3% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.024 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.058 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$11.98 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.77 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$15.14 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$12.44 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange rateskips (LAK) per US dollar -
8,190.2 (2016 est.)
8,147.9 (2015 est.)
8,147.9 (2014 est.)
8,049 (2013 est.)
8,007.3 (2012 est.)