Overview In 2020 Laos was the number 113 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 105 in total exports, the number 121 in total imports, the number 141 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 104 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).

Exports The top exports of Laos are Electricity ($1.93B), Gold ($553M), Rubber ($360M), Refined Copper ($335M), and Copper Ore ($309M), exporting mostly to Thailand ($2.95B), China ($1.68B), Vietnam ($440M), Japan ($127M), and Germany ($118M).

Imports The top imports of Laos are Refined Petroleum ($527M), Bovine ($154M), Cars ($145M), Iron Structures ($124M), and Broadcasting Equipment ($114M), importing mostly from Thailand ($3.36B), China ($1.42B), Vietnam ($566M), Japan ($142M), and Germany ($57.4M).

Location Laos borders Burma, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam by land.

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The following section uses the most recent trade data from partners of Laos.

Disclaimer: data is presented based on availability and only countries that use the harmonized system are being shown.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

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Data is presented based on data availability. Only countries using the Harmonic System (HS) are selected. Every source is shown using their own latest twelve months of data.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

Historical Data

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Top Export (2020): Electricity, $1.93B

Top Destination (2020): Thailand, $3.36B

In 2020, Laos exported a total of $6.25B, making it the number 105 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of Laos have changed by $1.68B from $4.57B in 2015 to $6.25B in 2020.

The most recent exports are led by Electricity ($1.93B), Gold ($553M), Rubber ($360M), Refined Copper ($335M), and Copper Ore ($309M). The most common destination for the exports of Laos are Thailand ($2.95B), China ($1.68B), Vietnam ($440M), Japan ($127M), and Germany ($118M).

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Fastest Growing Export Markets (2019 - 2020)

Fastest Growing Import Markets (2019 - 2020)

Laos Exports Services (2019): $1.18B

Laos Imports Services (2019): $1.25B

In 2019, Laos exported $1.18B worth of services. The top services exported by Laos in 2019 were Personal travel ($935M), Transportation ($167M), Computer and information services ($33.4M), Insurance services ($26.6M), and Construction services ($14.9M).

The top services imported by Laos in 2019 were Personal travel ($1.01B), Transportation ($145M), Insurance services ($37.8M), Computer and information services ($16.8M), and Other business services ($13.7M).

Economic Complexity

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

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Laos has a high level of specialization in Recovered Paper Pulp (206), Cassava (204), Electricity (165), Locust beans, seaweed, sugar beet, cane, for food (92.7), and Tin Ores (86.2). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between Laos observed and expected exports in each product.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

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The top export opportunities for Laos according to the relatedness index, are Cocoa Beans (0.14), Crustaceans (0.13), Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews (0.12), Niobium, Tantalum, Vanadium and Zirconium Ore (0.12), and Manganese Ore (0.12). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that Laos is not specialized in.

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

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This network shows the products most related to the production structure of Laos. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that Laos exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier

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The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking

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During the last 10 years Laos's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively more complex, moving from the ⁩⁨109th to the 104th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

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