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Laos’ Exports Drop Further Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Source: Vientiane Times

The value of Laos’ exports this year have dropped from US$410 million in January to US$209 million in April because of the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Exports in January touched US$410 million, before falling to US$391 million in February, US$343 million in March and US$209 million in April, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

These figures don’t include earnings from the export of electricity and will be updated when they are available.

The value of imports fluctuated from US$480 million in January to US$378 million in February, before rising to US$461 million in March and then dropping to US$320 million in April.

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Laos’ main exports in April included pulpwood and waste paper, bananas, copper and copper products, mixed gold and gold bars, cassava, fruits (watermelon, passion fruit and tamarind), coffee (unprocessed), copper ore, salt and clothes.

The five main countries to which Laos exported goods are China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Switzerland and Germany.

The main imports included mechanical equipment (excluding motor vehicles), steel and steel products, magnetics, diesel, livestock, beverages, road vehicles (excluding motorcycles and tractors), electrical products, plastic appliances, wire steel and various steel appliances, and spare parts (tyres, mirrors and chains).

The five main countries from which Laos imported goods were Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan and the United States.

The Lao government has permitted some businesses in the service sector, including hotels, restaurants, barber shops and beauty salons, to operate regular services, though certain prevention and control measures are still in place to prevent a second wave of infections.

All traditional and local border checkpoints across the country are still closed and there are difficulties in transporting goods through international checkpoints because of strict measures put in place by Laos and neighbouring countries.

Health authorities have asked people to respect the rules and to continue to take precautions against the virus even though its spread in Laos has been contained and there have been no new confirmed cases for at least three weeks. The Coronavirus continues to infect people worldwide and there are thousands of deaths each day.

Some Asean countries are still reporting new infections and deaths.