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Value Of Imports Dips, Trade Deficit Plummets In Laos

The value of products imported by Laos declined slightly from US$5.8 billion in 2018 to US$5.7 billion last year, with construction equipment topping the list of more than 10 categories of imported goods.

According to recent data compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the value of imports has increased year-on-year from 2013-19.

The most imported products are divided into more than 10 categories, coming from countries around the world.

The top five categories of imported goods were construction equipment, fuel and gas, items used in industry, electronic products, vehicle parts, and food.

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The key export goods were industrial products, electricity, mineral items and agricultural produce.

The main imports included fuel, vehicles other than tractors and motorcycles, iron, iron and steel products, mechanical appliances, insulated wire, cables, electrical machinery and equipment, plastics, bars and steel rods and formed structural steel sections, vehicle parts, and communication equipment.

Last year, Laos made a significant improvement in earnings from exports, with the figure increasing to more than US$5.6 billion from US$5.4 billion in 2018.

Two-way trade volume was recorded at more than US$11.3 billion in 2019, up from more than US$11.2 billion in 2018.

Additionally, the trade deficit significantly decreased from US$437.8 million in 2018 to US$137.4 million last year.

Laos trades with more than 130 countries worldwide.

Vietnam, China and Thailand have dominant trade and investment roles in the Lao economy, alongside participation in certain sectors by the Republic of Korea, France, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Thailand has been a longstanding trade partner with Laos and continues to hold the top spot, with electricity being its largest import from Laos.

Laos mainly imports goods from Thailand, China, Vietnam and other trading partners in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US.