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Laos Records Lowest Trade Deficit, US$24 Million In August

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos registered a record low trade deficit of US$24 million in August compared to the previous records of the year, with the two-way trade value amounting to US$880 million, slightly higher last month.

The US$880 million trade figure excludes earnings from the export of electricity.

Last month, the total two-way trade value was recorded at US$847 million, with a trade deficit of US$99 million.

However, the value of exports this month was recorded at US$428 million and imports at US$452 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s monthly update on the Lao Trade Portal.

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The main products exported in August were copper and products made of copper, bananas, mixed gold (gold bars), clothes, coffee beans, sugar, rubber, and fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind).

Meanwhile, the main imported products were vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), electrical devices and equipment, premium grade and regular fuel, diesel (for uses other than motor vehicles), steel, steel products, plastic products, chemical equipment and food factory waste.

Among Laos’ five top trade partners, China leads the export market, followed by Vietnam, Thailand, Germany and the United States of America.At the same time, Laos imported goods from Thailand worth a record US$249 million, a total of US$100 million from China, US$46 million worth of goods from Vietnam, about US$5 million from Japan, and goods worth US$22 million from the United States last month.

Laos anticipates closer links with neighbouring countries in Asean, China and European countries, and hopes that the opening of the Laos-China railway will bring a wide range of trade and investment opportunities in the years to come.

The government is also working with the private sector to improve the business environment to attract more foreign trading partners and investors through the removal of unnecessary barriers and the provision of incentives, policies and proper regulations.