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    Laos Economy 1997

      Economy - overview The government of Laos - one of the few remaining official communiststates - has been decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprisesince 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, have been striking- growth has averaged 7.5% annually since 1988. Even so, Laos is a landlockedcountry with a primitive infrastructure. It has no railroads, a rudimentaryroad system, and limited external and internal telecommunications. Electricityis available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture accounts forhalf of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. The predominant crop isrice. In non-drought years, Laos is self-sufficient overall in food, but eachyear flood, pests, and localized drought cause shortages in various partsof the country. For the foreseeable future the economy will continue to dependon aid from the IMF and other international sources; aid from the former USSR/EasternEurope has been cut sharply. As in many developing countries, deforestationand soil erosion will hamper efforts to maintain the high rate of GDP growth.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $5.7 billion (1996 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 7.5% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,150 (1996 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 56%
      industry: 19%
      services: 25% (1995 est.)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 15% (1996 est.)

      Labor force 1 million-1.5 million
      by occupation: agriculture 80% (1992 est.)

      Unemployment rate 5.6% in urban areas (1994 est.)

      revenues : $218 million
      expenditures: $379 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

      Industries tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing,construction

      Industrial production growth rate 7.5% (1992 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 261,000 kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 890 million kWh (1994)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 48 kWh (1995 est.)

      Agriculture - products sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, cotton; water buffalo,pigs, cattle, poultry

      total value: $240 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
      commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin, garments
      partners : Thailand, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands

      total value: $570 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
      commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures
      partners: Thailand, China, Japan, France, US

      Debt - external $2 billion (1995 est.)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $NA

      Currency 1 new kip (NK) = 100 at

      Exchange rates new kips (NK) per US$1 - 961.00 (January 1997), 921.14 (1996), 804.69(1995), 717.67 (1994), 716.25 (1993), 716.08 (1992)
      note: as of September 1995, a floating exchange rate policy was adopted

      Fiscal year 1 October - 30 September

      NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos Economy 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Economy 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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