With all the hype surrounding Myanmar these days, investors could be forgiven for not paying as much attention to Thailand’s northeastern neighbour. A number of exciting developments took place in Laos in 2012 and more are in the pipeline this year. As a result, there is a strong argument for investment in this country of 7 million that is far from having reached its potential.
Laos is experiencing significant change in line with an advancing rate of economic growth. Among the 15 fastest growing economies in the world, Laos has been able to sustain expansion of more than 7% a year on average during the past 10 years. As well, foreign direct investment continues to flow into the hydropower, mining, and construction sectors, having increased from $25 million in 2002 to nearly $3 billion in 2011.
On top of that, the country also has its fiscal house in order with a relatively modest debt burden compared with many of its Asian counterpart. It is on track to meet its UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and will likely graduate from the United Nations’ list of Least Developed Countries by 2020.
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