Economy and Investment

Lao PDR offers investors comparative advantages including plentiful natural resources and stable weather conditions, low costs of doing business and a favourable political and regulatory climate.

The Government of Lao PDR has been working since 1986 to boost the development and economic growth of Lao PDR and attract higher levels of foreign direct investment by passing and implementing a number of economic and legal reforms.

These reforms have already led to a significant increase in foreign direct investment, especially in the areas of mining, hydropower and plantation agriculture. Other growing sectors include tourism, manufacturing and services (such as financial, human resources and trade). Lao PDR’s access to the Mekong River and associated hydropower potential has attracted the nickname “the battery of Asia”.

China, Thailand, and Vietnam are Lao PDR’s leading sources of direct foreign investment, followed by Japan, Germany and the UK (based on 2014 figures).

The Lao Securities Exchange opened in 2011, however only a handful of companies are currently listed on the Lao Securities Exchange.


  • CHINA 33%
  • THAILAND 27%
  • VIETNAM 21%




“Despite headwinds that have slowed growth, GDP is seen increasing by 7.0% this year and slightly faster in 2016 as hydropower and services expand. Inflation is expected to remain modest, and some improvement is forecast in external accounts.”

Asian Development Bank, 2015