Lao PDR at a Glance
Full Name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Official Language: Lao
Location:Lao PDR is situated in Southeast Asia. It is a landlocked country sharing border with China to the north, Myanmar to the northwest, Thailand to the west, Cambodia to the south and Vietnam to the east. The Mekong River that flows through nearly 1865 km of Laos is the main geographical feature in the west.Area: 236,800 square km.
Border Countries: Burma 235 Km, Cambodia 541 Km, China 423 Km, Thailand 1754 Km, Vietnam 2130 Km
Climate: Lao PDR enjoys a tropical climate with two seasons: the rainy season from the beginning of May to November, and the dry season from December to April. The yearly average temperature is about 28°c.
Natural Resource:Lao PDR is rich in natural resources, especially unused mineral deposits including sapphires, gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, zinc, coal, potassium and bauxite. In addition, there are a number of rivers with the potential to develop about 60 large-scale hydropower projects making Laos ‘the battery of Asia.
Politic: The Lao People’s Democratic Republic was founded in 1975. The organs of government are the President, the Prime Minister and the National Assembly.
Constitution: The Constitution of Lao PDR was adopted by the National Assembly in 1991which formalized the establishment of a market-oriented economy, guaranteed the right of every Lao citizen to own property, and provided protection for foreign and domestic investment.
Executive:The President is the Head of State of the Lao PDR and the representative of the multi ethnic Lao people. The president is elected by the National Assembly (NA) with two-thirds of the
votes of all NA members. The Prime Minister is the Head of the government and represents the government. The PM leads and manages the work of the government, ministries, ministries-equivalent organizations, departments and other organization attached to the government and leads and manages the work of provinces and cities.
Judiciary: The People’s Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ of the State followed by the appellate courts, the people’s provincial courts and city courts, the people’s district courts and the military courts.
Density of population:27 pers./sq km
Literacy rate (age 15+):77 percent
GDP at factor cost (current prices):73,225 million kip
GDP Per capita: US$906 (2008-2009)
GDP composition by sector (2010): Agriculture and Forestry30.4 percent, Industry 26%, Service 37.2%
GDP real growth rate: 7.9%
Exports: US$1,084.9 million (2008).
Imports: US$1,302.9 million (2008).
Major industry: Garment, electricity generation, wood-based and other light industries.
Major exports: Coffee, electricity, clothing, wood and forest products, gypsum, lignite and tin.
Major imports: Industrial machinery, electrical machinery parts, chemicals, iron and steel.
Foreign Direct Investment inflows: US$ 227.8 million (2008) or US$9.7 billion (2006-2010).
Top four Investment countries in all business sectors:China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Major trading partners: European Union, Thailand, USA, China, Japan, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.
Top sectors attracting highest FDI inflows: mining, hydropower, manufacturing.
Currency: Kip (LAK).
Exchange rate: US$1=8,251 Kip (June, 2010).