Laos’ consistent economic growth rates have attracted the attention of foreign investors. World Economics report’s the country’s economy has been expanding at an average of around 2.7% over the last four years, offering an attractive environment for business operations.
The nation serves as a critical land bridge connecting Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Its location in the heart of mainland Southeast Asia makes it a strategic point for trade and investments.
- Head of State: President Thongloun Sisoulith
- Capital City: Vientiane
- Total Population: 58 million
- Languages: Lao or Laotian, French, English
- Religions: 67% Buddhist, 1.5% Christianity, 0.6% Catholics, 30.9% Other religions
- Monetary Unit: Laotian Kip (LAK)
- Natural Resources: Granite, limestone, iron, lead, copper, gemstones
- Major Exports: Gold, wood products, coffee, copper ore, electricity, rubber
- Major Imports: Oil, machinery and equipment, vehicles, iron and steel, telecommunication equipment, beverages and cement
Laos’ participation in regional and international trade agreements like the following has also boosted trade and foreign investment:
– ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
– Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
– Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)
The economy of Laos benefits from development assistance provided by the IMF, ADB, and various global entities, along with foreign direct investment directed towards the advancement of hydropower and mining, with a particular focus on copper and gold.
Historically, the trading relationship between the United Kingdom and Laos has been relatively modest, with the UK traditionally focusing on more prominent Southeast Asian markets.
The re-establishment of the British Embassy in Vientiane in 2012 was a positive step that facilitated UK businesses in identifying and actively pursuing prospective openings in Laos.
For UK enterprises involved in sectors like mining and renewable energy, Laos’ natural resources present significant opportunities. The country is rich in natural resources, including minerals, hydropower potential, and agricultural products, making it an attractive destination for companies involved in these sectors.
Diplomatic relations between the UK and Laos continue to evolve, opening doors for enhanced trade and investment cooperation. British businesses are poised to explore and capitalise on the promising opportunities that this vibrant Southeast Asian nation presents.