The Lao Economy: Capitalizing on Natural Resource Exports

27 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jayant Menon

Jayant Menon

Asian Development Bank; Asian Development Bank Institute

Peter G. Warr

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

Trade and investment reforms in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) since the mid-1980s have boosted natural resource-based exports, underpinning recent economic growth. A high proportion of the proceeds from these exports accrue directly to the government. Over the 8 years preceding 2011, total government revenue increased from 11% to over 19% of gross domestic product, due almost entirely to revenues derived from mining and hydropower. The effect on the Lao people depends on how the government uses these revenues. This paper examines how the Lao PDR’s export-led growth can be channeled into directions that deliver the greatest benefit to the Lao people.

Keywords: Lao PDR, natural resource revenues, Dutch disease, trade and investment reforms

JEL Classification: O13, O24, Q37

Suggested Citation

Menon, Jayant and Warr, Peter G., The Lao Economy: Capitalizing on Natural Resource Exports (January 1, 2013). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 330, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2231839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2231839

Jayant Menon (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

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Metro Manila
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Asian Development Bank Institute ( email )

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Peter G. Warr

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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