The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) is a sparsely populated and landlocked country, strategically situated in the heart of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. The country is divided into 17 provinces (including the capital Vientiane), which are further divided into districts and then villages.
Lao PDR is a member of a number regional organisations, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) and ASEAN Economic Community, East Asia Summit, La Francophonie, and recently became a member of the World Trade Organization. The country is also party to a number of international treaties and covenants including the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Through its membership in the above organisations and treaties, Lao PDR is strengthening its regional and international trade ties and is aiming to move out of the United Nation’s least developed countries list by 2020.
Facts & figures:
- Area – 236,000km2
- Capital – Vientiane
- Population – 6,911,544 (June 2015 est.)
- Population growth rate – 1.8%
- Official language – Lao
- Government – Lao People’s Revolutionary Party
- Currency – Kip (LAK)
- Inflation – 4.10% (2014)
- Main exports – Copper, gold, electricity, timber, garments
- GDP per capita – US$1,674