Country Risk Summary: LAOS

November 2003
Asia Monitor: South East Asia Monitor Volume 1;Nov2003, Vol. 14 Issue 11, p8
Country Report
Country Report
This article focuses on economic, political and business environment of Laos as of November 1, 2003. Violence appears to be returning to Laos. Recent months have seen an increase in gun attacks on buses and also more bomb attacks, including one in the capital, Vientiane. Although unconfirmed, it is likely that these attacks come from the Hmong insurgents, which were recruited by the Americans to fight the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. While the government will be concerned by these attacks, the Hmong are unlikely to pose a serious threat to the administration: they number no more than 3,000, they are short of equipment, and continued to be tracked by the army. The economy grew at 6% in H1. However, risks to the economy are increasing. The recent surge in violence, combined with effects of the Iraq War and the outbreak of SARS, is likely to damage the tourist sector.


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