Lao People's Democratic Republic

Since economic reforms were instituted in the 1980s, LAO PDR has seen sustained economic growth. The GDP grew an average of 7.1 percent annually from 2001-2010 and is predicted to grow 7.6 percent annually from 2011-2015 (World Bank). In 2011, LAO PDR achieved a GNI per capita of US$1,010, enabling it to move from its status as a lower income economy to a lower-middle income economy. At its current rate of growth, the country is on track to achieve its goal of graduating from its status as a Least Developed Country by 2020.

Lao PDR’s poverty levels have decreased, with the proportion of poor people falling from 39 percent of the population in the mid-1990s to 27.6 percent in 2010 (IFAD). Nonetheless, the country remains one of the poorest in Southeast Asia. More than three quarters of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival; agriculture is largely practiced at subsistence levels. Poverty is particularly high in the upland areas of the country, with rates as high as 43 percent compared with 28 percent in the lowlands (UNICEF). Agricultural conditions tend to be challenging, resulting in low productivity. Poor conditions are exacerbated by a lack of access to improved technologies and inputs, as well as declining soil fertility (UNICEF).

LAO PDR continues to work to increase its regional and global integration. It is a partner of the The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Free Trade Area (World Bank).

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2011201220132014
Rice Production
FAO 2014
3,065,760 MT3,489,210 MT3,414,560 MT4,002,425 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2012
1,096,235 MT1,125,485 MT1,214,085 MT1,412,440 MT
Soybean Production
FAO 2013
13,820 MT6,360 MT13,905 MT17,035 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2010201120122013
Maize Exports
FAO 2013
225,481 MT202,947 MT206,917 MT221,844 MT
Soybean Exports
FAO 2012
94.00 MT215.00 MT215.00 MT215.00 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
42,773 MT17,071 MT13,055 MT10,930 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
0.00 MT0.00 MT0.00 MT0.00 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2010
353.00 MT856.00 MT941.00 MT1,489 MT