Flag_of_Laos.svgLaos information

Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, also led People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Lao PDR, ປະ ເທດ ລາວ and Sathalanalat Passathipatai Passasson Lao ສາ ທາ ລະ ນະ ລັດ ປະ ຊາ ທິ ປະ ໄຕ ປະ ຊາ ຊົນ ລາວ, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia is surrounded by Burma (or Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.


Official name: Lao PDR
Type of government: single party
Head of state: Choummaly Sayasone, President of the Republic since 2006
Prime Minister Mr Thongsing Thammavong, took office December 23, 2010


laos-mapArea: 236,800 km²
Capital: Vientiane (990 000)
Main cities: Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, Pakse
Official language: Lao
Currency: kip
National Day: December 2

Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia: its 236,800 km² stretch over 1100 km from north to south and three quarters are covered by mountains. It consists of three clearly different regions: north, mountainous and rugged terrain, rising to 2850 meters; Center where Vientiane Plain is located, the country’s rice bowl; South plateau region bounded by the Mekong River to the west and the Annamite mountain range to the east.

It is also distinguished by exceptional ethnic diversity: 49 ethnic groups are officially registered there, distributed in the official classification into three major groups, the Lao Loum ( “lowland Lao”) of Thai culture, constitute two-thirds of the population; Lao Theung ( “Lao trays”), the first inhabitants, related to the Austro-Asiatic group, representing about a quarter of the population; Lao Soung ( “Lao highs”), mostly Hmong, arrived from China in the nineteenth century, are significantly fewer (less than 10%). Within this mosaic, the dominant ethnic group itself Lao only about half the population.


Population: 6.9 million inhabitants (2014, World Bank)
Density: 28 inhabitants / km2
Population Growth: 1.8% (2014, World Bank)
Life expectancy: 68 years (2013, World Bank)
Literacy rate: 79.9% (2014, DG Treasury)
Religions: Buddhism (66%), animism (20%), Christianity (2%)
Human Development Index: 139th (2014, UNDP)


Surrounded by powerful neighbors (China, Thailand and Vietnam), Laos enjoys the regional dynamism and attract foreign investment in key sectors of energy and mining. Its growth rate was more than 8% in 2013 (7.4% in 2014). It is estimated that 63% of Laos’s trade is intra-ASEAN (3.7 billion dollars): 48% of its exports to ASEAN, and 76% of its imports come from – mainly from Thailand and Vietnam.

With the help of international donors, he developed transport infrastructure (roads, railways, airports) essential to its economic development. He works hard to get out of LDC status by 2020. Few industrialized, Laos exports electricity to neighboring countries. Priority is given to large projects to exploit water resources, mining and agro-forestry as well as tourism.

Laos has joined the WTO in February 2013. The opening of the trading Vientiane in 2010 had endorsed the transition to an economy based on free trade even if the regime is still officially communist.

GDP: 11 billion USD (2013, World Bank)
GDP per capita: $ 1692.6 (2013, DG Treasury)
growth rate: 7.4% (2014, DG Treasury)
Inflation: 4.1% (2013, World Bank)
Unemployment rate: 1.4% (2014, IMF)
Public deficit: 3.8% (2014, DG Treasury)

Trade Balance: – 1, 6 billion USD (2013, World Bank)
Major customers: China (46.1%), Thailand (36.7%), Japan (3%) (2014, DG Treasury)
Major suppliers: Thailand (59.4%), China (27%), South Korea (2.3%) (2014, DG Treasury)

Share of main sectors in GDP (2013, World Bank):

agriculture: 25%
industry: 35%
services: 40%

Exports from France to Laos: € 45.5 million (2014, DG Treasury)
French imports from Laos: € 17.1 million (2014, DG Treasury)
French market share in Laos: 0.2% (2013, DG Treasury)

For more information :

Consular Section of the Embassy of France: Vientiane
French community in Laos: 2069 registered at the consular register (at 01.08.2015)
Original Laotian French in France: estimated between 100 and 200 000

Main income sources
Strengths / weaknesses
International Trade
– With France
With Europe
Barriers to entry
Source :


Good to know


The Kip (ISO 4217: LAK) is the currency of Laos since 1979. The Bank of the Lao P.D.R issues and controls the Kip. Since the soviet collapse in 1991, Laos has suffered a state of chronic inflation, and its currency has been steeply devaluated. In 2012, the Bank of Lao P.D.R. introduced a 100 000 Kip bank note, its purpose is to encourage Lao people to use the Kip rather than the US dollar or Thai Baht, especially for large purchases.

The Euro to Kip exchange rate converts at 9 035 on May the 30th, 2016



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Armed forces

Air Force

Type In service On order
An 26 1
MA 60 6
Ka 32 2
Mi 17 3





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