Laos 2018

Yearbook 2018

Laos. A large pond collapsed in southern Laos on July 23 and at least 30 people died. Dozens were reported missing while several thousand people became homeless downstream in Champassak and Attapeu provinces. Construction managers claimed that heavy monsoon rains were a contributing cause of the accident, while government officials thought the construction was deficient.

According to, Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, a country located in Southeastern Asia. Laos plans to construct 140 dams, mostly in tributaries to the Mekong River, to expand hydropower and become Southeast Asia’s “battery” and export electric power to neighboring China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Laos Vientiane Tourist Attractions 2

Floods caused by the monsoon rains also affected other provinces. Agriculture, housing, schools and other infrastructure were destroyed.

In July, the UN Human Rights Council criticized Laos for enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, deficiencies in freedom of speech and assembly, conditions in prisons, the right to vote and how minorities are treated. It was the Council’s first review of Laos since the country adopted in 2009 the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights.


The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a country in Southeast Asia that has no access to the sea, but is crossed by numerous rivers including the Mekong, which is the largest watercourse in the region to which it gives its name and interior of which often contributes to marking the border line between the various states. Remained physically and politically isolated until the second half of the nineties, with the lack of Soviet support, with the accession to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the country has veered towards integration regional and international. Also at the regional level, Laos has established solid relations with the communist parties of neighboring China and Vietnam. Both countries, which provide Laos with economic and military aid in exchange for access to its natural resources, investment flows into the country are progressively increasing, through state-owned companies specializing in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors. Relations with Thailand, Laos’ largest trading partner, have improved markedly since the mid-1990s and subsequently the two countries signed a series of agreements on the joint management of various issues: coordination of border controls, planning of building plans. shared, management of the health emergency linked to avian flu and resolution of the issue of ethnic Hmong refugees. However, the traditional mistrust towards Thailand remains, a country from which Laos absolutely aims to distinguish itself in order to affirm its identity. Relations with the United States have recently been consolidated and in June 2010, for the first time since 1975, a Laotian delegation paid an official visit to Washington. The government’s choice to abandon economic isolation is very recent, so much so that the country, still little exposed to international markets, has not suffered the negative effects of the global financial crisis, registering growth rates in the 2008-09 two-year period (respectively 7, 8% and 7.5%) in line with the trend of the last decade. According to IMF estimates, the country closed 2015 with a growth of 7.5% which allows the country to maintain its title as one of the fastest economies in the ASEAN area. At the end of 2012, Laos experienced three historical events. On October 26, the WTO’s yes to membership arrived after 15 years of waiting, and on November 5-6 Vientiane hosted the ninth appointment of the Asia-Europe Meeting, which was the largest event ever for the country. Finally, after years of uncertainty, on November 7 the ribbon was cut for the construction of the Xayaburi dam, which will be the first along the main course of the Mekong except for those already built in China. Considering the morphology of the territory, as well as the great availability of waterways, the hydroelectric sector represents a great potential for the country which, in fact, aims to drastically increase its production in the coming years. Laos is also rich in mineral deposits consisting mainly of gold, tin, copper, limestone and gypsum. The sector accounts for a large part of the foreign direct investments towards Laos coming mainly from China and Australia, as well as a share equal to about half of the exports. Mining and hydroelectricity have therefore played a primary role in economic development and in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as well as in the imminent exit of Laos from the category of least developed countries, which the government is setting itself for 2020.

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