Not so long ago, references to economic development in Laos typically mentioned the disadvantages of being a country that is landlocked. Wedged between dynamic, export-driven nations blessed with coastlines and harbours, Laos was viewed as fated to grow less rapidly than its neighbours.
A truck laden with Thai fruit waits to cross at the Laos-China border.
But the map is changing now as the economies of Southeast Asia gear up to integrate, and as China pushes hard to develop road and rail links into the region to accelerate trade. Laos now finds itself as the pivot point between Asean’s 600 million people, with $2 trillion in GDP, and China’s population of 1.3 billion and $7-trillion economy. Laos, unless it suddenly decides to relocate, is well situated to gain.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.