Laos is a state of Southeast Asia, in the peninsula in Docinese. The country (6,894,098 residents, according to an estimate from UNDESA, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, of 2014) is going through a phase of rapid and dynamic change. In the period 2008-13, economic growth exceeded 7% per year, resulting in a halving of poverty (since 1992) and an improvement in socio-economic indicators (in 2013 the GDP grew by 8.5%). These advances are attributable to the role that Laos plays as a supplier of natural resources in the region and to the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI). However, according to the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), unregulated FDI and rapid economic growth are causing socio-environmental damage and aggravating the gap between areas of the country. Despite the decrease in infant mortality, rural spaces are still characterized by criticalities in accessing basic services and by scarce infrastructures.
The territory, which stretches from NW to SE for 1150 km, is largely mountainous. It is possible to recognize two typical morphological ranges: the northern Laos (or high Laos) and the central-southern Laos (or low Laos.). The first is mountainous and embraces a complex, inaccessible area of highlands elongated in the NW-SE direction, with peaks even higher than 2000 m, covered by tropical forests up to about 1500 m and, higher up, by conifers. In the heart of northern Laos rises the Tran Ninh Plateau, wooded and rich in minerals, but impervious and sparsely populated, with the highest peak in the country, the Phou Bia (2818 m). The lower Laos, on the other hand, consists of three different morphological sections: a mountainous area, characterized by an impenetrable rainforest ; a vast plateau, covered by park forest and savannah; finally, a long alluvial plain, which extends for about 800 km, in the NNW-SSE direction, on both sides of the Mekong. This is the main river of the country, of which it marks the western border, except at the great bend of Louangphrabang and in the extreme southern section, where the right bank also belongs to Laos The climate, subject to the monsoon regime, it has a marked drought in winter and heavy rainfall in summer; temperatures are high with rather modest thermal excursions.
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. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of LAO that stands for the country of Laos.
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.
Asian countries form record trade cooperation
Fifteen countries in Asia and the Pacific region sign the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) trade agreement. The members are some of the world’s largest economies: China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the ten Southeast Asian Asian countries. Together, they account for almost a third of the world’s total GDP. The cooperation needs to be ratified by nine countries, of which six are ASEAN members, in order to enter into force. India participated for a long time in the negotiations, but chose to withdraw in 2019 due to concerns about the consequences for domestic production. The United States stands outside the RCEP, which has been seen as a Chinese response to the major US trade initiative TPP, which when Washington withdrew from 2017 was renamed the CPTPP.