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    Laos Economy - 1989

      Overview: Laos is one of the world's poorest nations with an estimated per capita GDP of only $140 in 1987. It is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure, having no railroads, a rudimentary road system, limited external and internal telecommunications, and electricity available to only a limited area. Subsistence agriculture is the main occupation, accounting for over 60% of GDP and providing about 85-90% of total employment. The predominant crop is rice. For the foreseeable future the economy will continue to depend upon foreign aid for its survival.

      GDP: $551 million, per capita $140; real growth rate 2.2% (1987)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 19% (1988)

      Unemployment rate: 17% (1987)

      Budget: revenues $111 million; expenditures $156 million, including capital expenditures of $67.4 million (1987)

      Exports: $48.7 million (f.o.b., 1987); @m5commodities--electricity, wood products, coffee, tin; @m5partners--Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, USSR, US

      Imports: $218.8 million (c.i.f., 1987); @m5commodities--food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures; @m5partners--Thailand, USSR, Japan, France, Vietnam

      External debt: $884 million (December 1987)

      Industrial production: growth rate 11%, manufacturing (1987)

      Electricity: 175,000 kW capacity; 900 million kWh produced, 230 kWh per capita (1988)

      Industries: tin mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing

      Agriculture: rice (overwhelmingly dominant), corn, vegetables, tobacco, coffee, cotton; formerly self-sufficient; food shortages (due in part to distribution deficiencies) include rice; an illegal producer of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade

      Aid: US commitments (FY70-79), $276 million; Western (non-US) countries ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-85), $423 million

      Currency: new kip (plural--kips); 1 new kip (NK) = 100 at

      Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1--400 (official fixed rate since July 1988)

      Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

      NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos Economy 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Economy 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
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