Laos. After communist China, the communist Laos embarked
on an experiment with state-controlled capitalism when a
stock exchange opened at the beginning of the year.
Initially, trading took place in two state-owned companies,
one electricity company and one bank. One of the main
purposes of the stock market investment was to attract
foreign investors. The government had made attempts to
attract investors since the 1990s, but with limited success.
While Laos is rich in natural resources, the infrastructure
is poor. According to
Countryaah official site, the level of education is also low; the majority of
the population is engaged in farming for self-sufficiency.
In April elections were held for the National Assembly.
In addition to the Communist Party, only five independent
candidates were allowed to stand. Of the 132 members
elected, a quarter were women. The turnout was close to
100%, as it is compulsory to vote in Laos.
When the new parliament met in June, as expected,
Thongsing Thammavong was re-elected prime minister and
Choummaly Sayasone as president.