Source: Vientiane Times
Laos recorded a trade surplus of US$41 million in the first month of this year, with China continuing to be the country’s largest export market.
The total trade value last month, including exports and imports, was recorded at US$1,156 million, including US$598 million worth of exports and US$557 million worth of imports, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
This figure does not include earnings from exported electricity, which will be factored into the equation at a later date when the quantities become known.
Laos’ main export products are mixed gold (gold bars), paper and paper products, copper ore, wood pulp and waste paper, rubber, cassava, bananas, clothing, glass and glassware, and cassava starch.
The main import products are road vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), diesel, mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), auto parts (including tyres, goggles and chains), electrical wiring, cables, plastics, gasoline, food waste and waste from the food industry, chemical products, and pharmaceutical products.
Laos earned US$217 million from exports to China, US$110 million from Vietnam, US$141 million from Thailand, US$42 million from Australia, and US$12 million from Japan.
In terms of imports, Laos paid Thailand US$254 million, US$108 million to China, US$27 million to Vietnam, US$59 million to Switzerland, and US$41 million to the USA.
Last year, Laos recorded a trade surplus of US$1,000 million, with the total value of exports standing at US$7,000 million and imports at US$6,000 million.
The government is hoping to make use of the China-Laos Railway to bolster the export of Lao products.
It is believed the railway will result in the growth of many industries, such as tourism, trade and investment, especially in the processing industry, and will assist Laos’ post-pandemic recovery.