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    Laos Economy - 2002
    http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/wfb2002/laos/laos_economy.html
    SOURCE: 2002 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

      Economy - overview The government of Laos - one of the few remaining official Communist states - began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, were striking - growth averaged 7% in 1988-2001 except during the short-lived drop caused by the Asian financial crisis beginning in 1997. Despite this high growth rate, Laos remains a country with a primitive infrastructure; it has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications. Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture accounts for half of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. The economy will continue to benefit from aid from the IMF and other international sources and from new foreign investment in food-processing and mining.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $9.2 billion (2001 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 5% (2001 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,630 (2001 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 53%
      industry: 22%
      services: 25% (2000 est.)

      Population below poverty line 40% (2001 est.)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share
      lowest 10%: 3.2%
      highest 10%: 30.6% (1997)

      Distribution of family income - Gini index 37 (1997)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10% (2001 est.)

      Labor force 2.4 million (1999)

      Labor force - by occupation agriculture 80% (1997 est.)

      Unemployment rate 5.7% (1997 est.)

      Budget
      revenues: $211 million
      expenditures: $462 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99 est.)

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

      Industrial production growth rate 7.5% (1999 est.)

      Electricity - production 1.02 billion kWh (2000)

      Electricity - production by source
      fossil fuel: 1.96%
      hydro: 98.04%
      other: 0% (2000)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption 690.6 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - exports 400 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - imports 142 million kWh (2000)

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

      Exports $325 million (2001 est.)

      Exports - commodities wood products, garments, electricity, coffee, tin

      Exports - partners Thailand 20%, France 7.5%, Germany 5.9%, UK 4.1%, Belgium 4% (2000)

      Imports $540 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

      Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel

      Imports - partners Thailand 52%, Singapore 3.9%, Japan 1.6%, Hong Kong 1.5%, China 0.8% (2000)

      Debt - external $2.53 billion (1999)

      Economic aid - recipient $345 million (1999 est.)

      Currency kip (LAK)

      Currency code LAK

      Exchange rates kips per US dollar - 9,467.00 (December 2001), 8,954.58 (2001), 7,887.64 (2000), 7,102.03 (1999), 3,298.33 (1998), 1,259.98 (1997)

      Fiscal year 1 October - 30 September

      NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos Economy 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Economy 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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