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Laos Business Report

General information
Source: The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency
7,234,171 (July 2018 est.)
$49.34 billion (2017 est.)

Apart from agriculture (20% GDP, dominated by rice cultivation), the economy is dependent on natural resource exports (hydropower, copper and gold mining, logging) and construction.

GDP growth rate
6.9% (2017 est.)

Laos' growth has amongst the fastest in Asia, averaging more than 7% per year for most of the last decade.

GDP (PPP) per capita
$7,400 (2017 est.)

Laos' infrastructure is still underdeveloped (no railway, poor roads condition), and 73% of the workforce is employed in agriculture

Local currency
Lao kip (LAK)

Weak currency (1 USD buys more than 8,000 LAK) which has been constantly losing value since 2013, though this occurred without sharp fluctuations

Financial stability (Public debt)
63.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

Medium to high, incresing from 58% in 2016

0.8% (2017 est.)


Lao (official), French, English

English is understood in the main urban and touristic areas

Corruption perception index (Source: Transparency International)

Very high level of corruption

Duties and tax
Source: PwC World Tax Summaries 2017-2018
VAT applies to goods supplied or imported in Laos and to services supplied in Laos or rendered by foreigners to Laos customers. Exempted items include unprocessed agricultural products, seeds, fertilisers, textbooks, education services, medical services.
Corporate Tax
Tax holidays and reduced rates are applicable to companies whose investment activities qualify as promoted investment activities or large investments in mining and hydro power project.
0% to 40%
All goods imported into Lao PDR are subject to import duty. Exemptions are available to enterprises operating promoted investment activities. Lao PDR has adopted the GATT valuation principles. Duty rates are based on the ASEAN harmonised tariff nomenclature for imports from ASEAN member countries (ATIGA).

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