Economic Growth and Trade

Economic growth is the engine that drives progress. The Lao economy remains dependent on external demand for its natural resources, particularly mining, hydropower and forestry. However, regulatory capacity and knowledge of market economics within the Government of Laos is limited and threatens future sustainable growth.

USAID is helping improve economic policy in Laos and supporting the country's efforts to transition to open and free markets. USAID is helping to guide the drafting of a broad range of key laws and regulations while providing analysis based on international standards in trade agreements. In addition, USAID supports workshops to raise awareness among the public about commitments by the government to comply with international obligations while encouraging the participation of Lao government ministries, the National Assembly and the private sector through the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The USAID-funded LUNA-Lao Project works on a demand-driven basis in partnership with six ministries, the National Assembly, the Supreme People’s Court and the Lao Chamber of Commerce to support Laos to make the many—and often quite technical—legal, policy and institutional reforms needed to comply with the requirements of key trade agreements and bodies, including the U.S.-Lao PDR Bilateral Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint by 2015. Most prominently, LUNA worked with its counterparts to support the accelerated accession of the Government of Laos to the WTO.

Last updated: February 12, 2014

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