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)|
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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.
The Ministers of Tourism of the 6 GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam) met in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 9 January 2009. Senior officials from the GMS National Tourism Organizations (NTOs), the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and development partners including the Asian Development Bank, French Embassy, European Union, Netherlands Development Cooperation (SNV), and GTZ, and US-supported ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement Project also attended the meeting.
The upgrade of Route 3 of the Northern Economic Corridor has not only improved connectivity and mobility but also has introduced potential health challenges.
Services account for a significant share of the subregion’s GDP, ranging from 25.7% in the Lao People's Democratic Republic to 39.1% in Cambodia and 46.0% in Thailand
This training material aims to strengthen officials' and experts' understanding of the trade barriers that affect trade in goods and the economic determinants of such trade; proposals made in different forums to reform border policies affecting trade in goods and the analysis of those proposals, with a particular focus on the strategic questions raised by regional trade agreements; and particular challenges facing trade policy makers in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
This is a colorful account of a 19-day journey along the new or upgraded economic corridors linking members of the Greater Mekong Subregion. Based on conversations with ordinary folk, especially entrepreneurs, these stories show how trade and tourism in particular are burgeoning with improving connectivity between People's Republic of China's Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, Viet Nam, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and Cambodia.
The 9th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Human Resource Development was held in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, on 20-21 May 2009.
The leaders of the Greater Mekong Subregion issued a joint declaration, entitled "Enhancing Competitiveness through Greater Connectivity," at the 3rd GMS Summit in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 30-31 March 2008.
The Twelfth Meeting of the Subregional Transport Forum (STF-12) was held in Da Nang City, Viet Nam on 12-14 August 2008. The Meeting was jointly organized by the Ministry of Transport of Viet Nam and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The objective of the Meeting was to discuss recent developments, key issues, and future plans in the GMS transport sector, with particular focus on maximizing the development impact of the network and on the problems that remain as regards the conduct of transport and trade operations along the GMS economic corridors and possible ways of addressing them.