OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Lao PDR

image of OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Lao PDR

This first OECD Investment Policy Review of Lao PDR uses the OECD Policy Framework for Investment to assess the investment climate in Lao PDR and discusses the challenges and opportunities faced by the Government of Lao PDR in its reform efforts. It includes chapters on trends in foreign investment and trade, the legal framework for investment, regulatory restrictions on foreign investment, corporate governance, investment promotion and facilitation, promoting and enabling responsible business conduct, infrastructure connectivity and the investment framework for green growth.



Assessment and recommendations

The development of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has been a success by many measures over the past two decades. For a sparsely populated and land-locked country that has had to overcome the devastating effects of years of war and civil strife, it has managed to sustain high and relatively stable growth for over two decades. Living standards have improved to the point where Lao PDR has become a lower middle income economy and could graduate from least developed country status by 2020. Foreign direct investment has played a key role in supporting this growth, although domestic investment is also booming. The country is becoming more integrated both regionally and globally, joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2013.


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