Lao People's Democratic Republic
|Population||7 million (2016)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||42 billion (2016)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||6,196 (2016)|
Agriculture remains an important part of the Lao PDR economy, and government leaders have recognized the sector as a key driver for reducing poverty. As part of the GMS program, Lao PDR is working to improve food security and cross-border agricultural trade, as well as reduce trans-boundary animal disease and foster climate change resilience. The ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people in rural areas, and foster economic development.
In the area of energy, Lao PDR is a leader in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Today, Lao PDR supplies 100 percent of its domestic power needs through hydropower, and derives substantial economic benefit from selling excess power to its GMS neighbors. The Lao PDR Government has recognized that providing widely available and affordable energy to people in both urban and rural areas is important for economic development and poverty reduction.
Though diversification is underway, Lao PDR’s economy is primarily resource-based, so environmental sustainability is vital. As Lao PDR’s economic activity has increased, protection of the country’s environment has become increasingly important. Lao PDR is working with its GMS partners to establish biodiversity corridors, and protect critical ecosystems.
The Lao PDR Government is working closely with its GMS partners to improve education and health, and better develop human resources in the country. This has included vocational training programs, as well as work to improve the skills of the country’s health care workers. GMS-supported programs to control communicable diseases and to improve government officials’ management abilities are also underway.
Lao PDR is using mobile and fixed telephone communications, as well as the Internet, to promote human resource development, research, business, and infrastructure development, and to enhance the country’s education system. Telecommunications access is being expanded into remote rural locations, including areas where vulnerable minority groups can benefit.
Lao PDR has seen a rapid increase in tourism in recent years. Its rich cultural and natural sites are attracting a growing number of visitors. Top destinations include Luang Prabang, Champasak, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, and Savannakhet. Direct flights between Cambodia’ Angkor Wat and Luang Prabang are an example of the efforts underway to link GMS tourist sites, and package them as a single destination. Lao PDR’s strategy is to develop tourism in order to generate jobs, protect natural cultural heritage, and reduce poverty.
The Government of Lao PDR is actively encouraging trade and investment with its GMS partners. It has worked to enhance cross-border trade, and has been active partner in the development of economic corridors using transport infrastructure to drive trade and investment.
In the area of transport, Lao PDR has developed better highway connections with Cambodia, PRC, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The country is a vital link in several of the subregion’s major economic corridors, including the North-South Economic Corridor, which spans from Kunming to Bangkok via Lao PDR, another North-South Corridor which traverses Kunming, Mohan, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Thakhek, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and the East-West Corridor, which stretches 1,500 km from Mawlamyine in Myanmar, to Da Nang in Viet Nam, passing through Savannakhet-Dansavanh in Lao PDR. Through these transport corridors, Lao PDR is transforming itself from a landlocked into a land-linked country, using its location at the center of GMS to facilitate trade and investment from other countries in the subregion.
ADB and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Fact Sheet
The Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project is helping transform transport corridors in the Greater Mekong Subregion into economic corridors by developing upstream and downstream linkages in agribusiness supply chains in a climate-friendly manner.
Foreign ministers from Japan and five Mekong nations this month identified areas of cooperation under a new strategy and reviewed the progress of joint projects in the East-West Economic Corridor and Southern Economic Corridor.
VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (31 July 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $40.5 million grant to help farmers and agribusinesses develop sustainable and climate-smart agriculture value chains in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Applying the Industrial Pollution Projection System is an important first step toward mainstreaming pollution concerns into strategic planning in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic lies at the heart of the Greater Mekong Subregion and its economic corridors . However, the country has yet to maximize benefits from the subregion’s investments in infrastructure and services.
Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have agreed to strengthen joint efforts to fight illegal fishing practices and increase fish stock in the Mekong-Sekong basin.
The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 5 July launched the Lao Provincial Facilitation of Investment and Trade Index (ProFIT), which rates economic governance at the provincial level according to feedback from the country's small and medium enterprises.
Five Mekong River Basin countries have agreed on a 5-year master plan that includes promoting the smooth flow of goods and people in the East-West Economic Corridor and Southern Economic Corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion.