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  • Capital city :Vientiane
  • Area :236,800 square kilometres
  • Total population :6,586,266
  • Languages :Lao PDR, French, English, various ethnic languages
  • Ethnic groups :Lao PDR 55%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 8%, other 26%
  • Religions :Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other 31.5%

Major City

  • Vientiane
  • Seoul (UTC+9)

Exchange Rate 1,000 LAK

The country’s economy has performed well in the last two years, with growth estimated at 8.3% in 2011. This has been buoyed by ongoing projects in the mining and hydroelectric sectors, as well as expansion of garment exports, international tourism and FDI. Lao PDR is situated between Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Its thickly forested landscape consists mostly of rugged mountains, the highest of which is Phou Bia at 2,818 metres, with a number of plains and plateaus. The Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand, whereas the mountains of the Annamite Chain form most of the eastern border with Vietnam.

Dong Hua Sao, at the southern end of the country prevents access to the sea but cargo boats travel along the entire length of the Mekong in Lao PDR during most of the year. Smaller power boats and pirogues provide an important means of transportation on many of the tributaries of the Mekong. The capital city Vientiane, located on the curve of the Mekong River, has French inspired architecture, it’s a vibrant city and popular tourist destination. Other large cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse.

Buddhism is the religion of 67% of the population. The people are influenced largely by Buddhist teachings and this is reflected in the culture. Lao PDR is so far, untouched by the modern demands and pace of life. Collectivism is also a strong part of its culture. There are 65 ethnic minorities, each with their own language, making individualism also possible. Lao PDR joined ASEAN on 23 July 1997, along with Myanmar.

  • Joined ASEAN: 23 July 1997
  • Head of State: President Choummaly Sayasone
  • Area: 236,800 square kilometres
  • Border countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, China
  • Coastline: Landlocked
  • Capital city: Vientiane
  • Total population: 6,586,266
  • Population of capital: 799,000
  • Climate: Tropical. Monsoon season May to November. Dry season December to April
  • Languages: Lao PDR, French, English, various ethnic languages
  • Religions: Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other 31.5%
  • Ethnic groups: Lao PDR 55%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 8%, other 26%
  • Monetary unit: Kip (LAK)
  • Natural resources: Timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
  • Major exports: Wood products, coffee, electricity, tin, copper, gold
  • Main export trading countries: Thailand 34.8%, China 25.6%, Vietnam 10%
  • Major imports: Machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods
  • Main import trading countries: Thailand 65.9%, China 11.3%, Vietnam 5.3%
  • Internet domain: .la
  • International dialling code: +856
  • Sources: CIA World Factbook, ASEAN, IMF, Kwintessential.co.uk, Journeymart.com

Why Lao PDR
  • Regional Connections

    Lao PDR is a land-linked country in the heart of Southeast Asia. It shares borders with China in the north, Cambodia in the south, Vietnam in the east, Myanmar in the northwest and Thailand in the west. It connects its five neighbors to each other and has the potential to be a valuable transportation link.

  • Efforts to Attract Foreign Investment

    In 1986, the Lao Government launched the New Economic Mechanism, with the ultimate aim of turning the Lao PDR into an open-market economy. Initial progress was rapid, developing one of the most liberal foreign investment packages in the region. Under the new economic mechanism, the Lao Government has been offering generous incentives to foreign investors, constructing the basis of a legal framework and allowing private ownership.

  • Liberal Program to Attract Foreign Investment

    A liberal foreign investment law passed in June 1994, set a flat rate corporate tax of 20% and duty of 1% on imports of means of production, spare parts and other materials used in operations. (Other imports are subject to 5-10% duty.) It allowed 100% foreign ownership of business ventures. Since then, the detailed application of this law has been modified a number of times. Some details in the application of the law have been amended by government decrees on a number of occasions. As such, details in the application of the law need to be reviewed by each investor.

  • Department of Domestic and Foreign Investment (DDFI)

    Department of Domestic and Foreign Investment (DDFI), one of the government bodies deals with inward investment.

  • Abundant Natural Resources

    The Lao PDR is abundant in natural resources, including coal, hardwood timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold and gemstones. These resources all play a significant part in the economy.

  • Potential Growth Areas

    The Lao PDR has a strong potential for growth in certain areas such as power generation, mining and minerals, agri-forestry and transportation.

For more information, please visit at www.invest.laopdr.org

※ Source : Department of Domestic and Foreign Investment(DDFI)

Doing Business in Lao PDR

※ Source : ASEAN Secretariat

  • Capital : Vientiane
  • National Population : 6.5 million
  • Language : Lao

Lao PDR is the only landlocked ASEAN nation as well as the least visited countries in the world. Being isolated for many years has meant that Lao PDR retains a remarkable serenity and timeless charm.

The country is mountainous, making travel difficult with limited internal flight
and adventurous travel along Mekong River. The capital, Vientiane, is small (140.000) charming and picturesque, sitting on the banks of the Mekong. It contains some colourful and sacred pagodas, fascinating museums, wide boulevards and attractions like Patuxai, Vientiane’s Arc de Triomphe.

The border crossing to Thailand and the Friendship Bridge are at Thanaleng.

Budha Park here is a bizarre collection of concrete religious icons. Nam Ngum Dam in the north of the city is a peaceful retreats with restaurants, fishing and small chalets. The former capital Luang Prabang, is one of the most serene town in ASEAN. Much of the town and its pagodas are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are about 32 historic pagodas here whithin easy walk of each other.

The Dala market sells many local products especially those of nereby hilltribe people. The Royal Palace Museum contains many Lao treasures. Trips on the Mekong river are popular especially to the Pak Ou limestone caves thet contain hundreds of Buddhist images. The Plain of Jars near the small town of Phonsavan has intrigued archaeologists for centuries.

The purpose of the huge 2,000-year old stone jars is open to speculation. In the south of the country, Pakse is a point of departure for the Bolaven Plateau and the Khmer ruins at Wat Phu. The area is also famous for tasty coffee. The Khon Papheng Falls on the Mekong river are a 13- kilometers stretch of rapids and cascades.

There are 68 minority tribes in Lao PDR and they offer tourist insight into many ancient tradition and arts. The Lao people are skilled carvers and many pagodas display this art. Cotton and silk weaving is highly developed, distinct and prozed. Many festivals correspond to the Buddhist calendar.

Boun Pimai the Lao New Year is celebrated in mid April throughout the country.

Boun Souang Heua is the boat race festival is held the day after Ok Phannsa Crowds gather at the Mekong river to watch 45 paddlers, rowing wooden pirogues to the beat of drums in competition for th coveted trophy.

Boun That Luang is a three-day religious festival celebrated at full moon in November in Vientiane.

For more information, please visit http://www.laostourism.org/

Source : www.asean-tourism.com

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