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Laos: Economy

Economy Laos
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 7% in 1988-2001 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. Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture accounts for half of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. The economy will continue to benefit from aid from the IMF and other international sources and from new foreign investment in food processing and mining.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $10.4 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.7% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 53%
industry: 23%
services: 24% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
40% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 30.6% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
2.4 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 80% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
5.7% (1997 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $211 million
expenditures: $462 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99 est. est.)
Industries:
tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
7.5% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
1.317 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 1.4%
hydro: 98.6%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
824.7 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
400 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2,750 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton; tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry
Exports:
$345 million (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
wood products, garments, electricity, coffee, tin
Exports - partners:
Vietnam 25.7%, Thailand 19%, France 7.5%, Germany 5.3% (2002)
Imports:
$555 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Thailand 58.9%, Vietnam 12.3%, China 7.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
$2.53 billion (1999)
Economic aid - recipient:
$345 million (1999 est.)
Currency:
kip (LAK)
Currency code:
LAK
Exchange rates:
kips per US dollar - 7,562 (2002), 8,954.58 (2001), 7,887.64 (2000), 7,102.02 (1999), 3,298.33 (1998)
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September

Also See:

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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