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.
VIENTIANE, LAO PDR (6 April 2017) — Economic growth is picking up in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s (Lao PDR) in 2017 and 2018, supported by the expansion of production and sales of electricity, a buoyant services sector growth, and construction of the cross-border railway project, says a new Asian Development Bank report released today.
VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (3 February 2017) — The Asian Development Bank and the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic today signed an agreement for a $12 million loan and grant package for a health security project.
This energy sector assessment, strategy, and road map documents the current assessment and strategic investment priorities of ADB and the governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion countries in the energy sector.
Green infrastructure can play a significant role in offsetting losses from climate-related disasters and contribute to building resilience through rehabilitation and expansion of natural ecosystems within built areas.
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (23 November 2016) — The Asian Development Bank has approved a $117 million loan to the Governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam to enhance responses to emerging infectious diseases and the management of other major public health threats. The Lao PDR government is also receiving $8 million in grant assistance.
The 36th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Working Group was held on 7 January 2016 in Nan Province, Thailand.
The Thirty-Seventh Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG-37) was held on 4 July 2016 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The meeting was co-organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and attended by representatives of the National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of the six GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China [PRC], Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), MTCO, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ASEAN-China Center and ASEAN-Japan Center