Capital : Vientiane
Population : 7.169 million
Language : Lao , French , English , various ethnic languages
Industries : Mining ( copper , tin , gold , gypsum ); timber , electric power , agricultural processing , rubber , construction , garments , cement , tourism
GDP ( US $ billion ): 19.14 billion
Natural Resources : Timber , hydropower , gypsum , tin , gold , gemstones
Major Exports : Wood products , coffee , electricity , tin , copper , gold , cassava
Major Imports : Machinery and equipment , vehicles , fuel , consumer goods
Contact the British Business Group Laos
British Business Group Laos Tel : + 856 ( 0 ) 20 7802-8885 Web : www . bbglao . org
Laos is a single-party socialist republic and joined ASEAN in July 1997 . The economy has performed well in the past few years . This is mainly due to the ongoing projects in mining and hydroelectric power , as well as increases in garment exports , international tourism and Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ).
The country is a landlocked nation situated between Myanmar , China , Vietnam , Cambodia and Thailand . Its thickly forested landscape consists mostly of rugged mountains . It is rich in mineral resources but imports petroleum and gas .
Metallurgy is an important industry and the government hopes to attract foreign investment to develop substantial deposits of coal , gold , bauxite , tin , copper , and other valuable metals . In addition , the country ’ s plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy . It is increasingly providing electricity to neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam and the economy is accelerating rapidly with the demands for its metals .
The re-opening of the British Embassy in Vientiane in 2012 is a welcome development that will help UK companies to identify and pursue potential opportunities in Laos .
The Laos economy receives development aid from the IMF , ADB and other international sources and foreign direct investment for the development of hydropower and mining ( most notably copper and gold ).
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