Laos basic profile

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Economic reform begins with the introduction of the "New Economic Mechanism"

Surrounded by five countries namely Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China, Laos is the only landlocked nation in ASEAN and is comprised of approximately 50 ethnic groups. Though its economic growth has been slow, Laos began economic reforms in 1986 designated as the "New Economic Mechanism" through which it now pursues a policy of economic liberalization and introduction of a market-oriented economy. The mainstay industry is agriculture, which accounts for half of the GDP, and coffee is an important export agricultural goods. Studded with alluring World Heritage designated site such as Luang Prabang and Vat Phou, developing its tourist industry remains to be achieved. Along with various other forms of economic support, Japan is extending grant aid for the preservation of the World Cultural Heritage including the Vat Phou archaeological site.

Land Area



approx. 6.14 million (2007, estimates)



Political System

People's Democratic Republic

Major Language


Major Religion

Buddhism (90%)



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Thakhek kang