45 Facts About Laos


Laos), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao: ?????????? ????????? ?????????, French: Republique democratique populaire lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.

FactSnippet No. 530,745

Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong.

FactSnippet No. 530,746

Laos was then dependent on military and economic aid from the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.

FactSnippet No. 530,747

Laos is a member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, the ASEAN, East Asia Summit, and La Francophonie.

FactSnippet No. 530,748

Laos applied for membership of the World Trade Organization in 1997; on 2 February 2013, it was granted full membership.

FactSnippet No. 530,749

Laos has been referred to as one of Southeast Asia and Pacific's fastest growing economies by the World Bank with annual GDP growth averaging 7.

FactSnippet No. 530,750

Laos made Theravada Buddhism the state religion, and Lan Xang prospered.

FactSnippet No. 530,751

Between 1763 and 1769, Burmese armies overran northern Laos and annexed Luang Prabang, while Champasak eventually came under Siamese suzerainty.

FactSnippet No. 530,752

Laos encouraged a renaissance of Lao fine arts and literature and improved relations with Luang Phrabang.

FactSnippet No. 530,753

Laos never held any importance for France other than as a buffer state between Thailand and the more economically important Annam and Tonkin.

FactSnippet No. 530,754

Laos produced tin, rubber, and coffee, but never accounted for more than one percent of French Indochina's exports.

FactSnippet No. 530,755

Under French rule, the Vietnamese were encouraged to migrate to Laos, which was seen by the French colonists as a rational solution to a labour shortage within the confines of an Indochina-wide colonial space.

FactSnippet No. 530,756

France remained in de facto control until 22 October 1953, when Laos gained full independence as a constitutional monarchy.

FactSnippet No. 530,757

In 1960, amidst a series of rebellions in the Kingdom of Laos, fighting broke out between the Royal Lao Army and the communist North Vietnamese and Soviet Union-backed Pathet Lao guerillas.

FactSnippet No. 530,758

Laos was a key part of the Vietnam War since parts of Laos were invaded and occupied by North Vietnam since 1958 for use as a supply route for its war against South Vietnam.

FactSnippet No. 530,759

Laos later died under suspicious circumstances in a re-education camp.

FactSnippet No. 530,760

Laos was requested in 1979 by Vietnam to end relations with the People's Republic of China, leading to isolation in trade by China, the United States, and other countries.

FactSnippet No. 530,761

Conflict between Hmong rebels and Laos continued in key areas of Laos, including in Saysaboune Closed Military Zone, Xaisamboune Closed Military Zone near Vientiane Province and Xiangkhouang Province.

FactSnippet No. 530,762

Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, and it lies mostly between latitudes 14° and 23°N, and longitudes 100° and 108°E.

FactSnippet No. 530,763

Laos can be considered to consist of three geographical areas: north, central, and south.

FactSnippet No. 530,764

Laos had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.

FactSnippet No. 530,765

Laos is divided into 17 provinces and one prefecture (kampheng nakhon), which includes the capital city Vientiane (Nakhon Louang Viangchan).

FactSnippet No. 530,766

Laos has been General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, a position making him the de facto leader of Laos, since January 2021.

FactSnippet No. 530,767

Laos maintained a "special relationship" with Vietnam and formalised a 1977 treaty of friendship and cooperation that created tensions with China.

FactSnippet No. 530,768

Laos was admitted into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in July 1997 and acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2016.

FactSnippet No. 530,769

Lending further support to earlier claims that the government of Laos was persecuting the Hmong, filmmaker Rebecca Sommer documented first-hand accounts in her documentary, Hunted Like Animals, and in a comprehensive report that includes summaries of refugee claims and was submitted to the UN in May 2006.

FactSnippet No. 530,770

Ostensibly, the Constitution of Laos that was promulgated in 1991 and amended in 2003 contains most key safeguards for human rights.

FactSnippet No. 530,771

For example, Article 8 makes it clear that Laos is a multinational state and is committed to equality between ethnic groups.

FactSnippet No. 530,772

On 25 September 2009, Laos ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, nine years after signing the treaty.

FactSnippet No. 530,773

Human rights advocates including Vang Pobzeb, Kerry and Kay Danes, and others have raised concerns about human rights violations, torture, the arrest and detention of political prisoners as well as the detention of foreign prisoners in Laos including at the infamous Phonthong Prison in Vientiane.

FactSnippet No. 530,774

In 2009, despite the fact that the government is still officially communist, the Obama administration in the US declared Laos was no longer a Marxist–Leninist state and lifted bans on Laotian companies receiving financing from the US Export-Import Bank.

FactSnippet No. 530,775

Laos is rich in mineral resources and imports petroleum and gas.

FactSnippet No. 530,776

The mining industry of Laos has received prominent attention with foreign direct investments.

FactSnippet No. 530,777

In 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights conducted an official visit to Laos and found that the country's top-down approach to economic growth and poverty alleviation "is all too often counterproductive, leading to impoverishment and jeopardising the rights of the poor and marginalised.

FactSnippet No. 530,778

Mountainous geography of Laos had impeded Laos's ground transportation development throughout the 20th century.

FactSnippet No. 530,779

Laos has made particularly noteworthy progress increasing access to sanitation.

FactSnippet No. 530,780

Laos's progress is notable in comparison to similar developing countries.

FactSnippet No. 530,781

The authorities in Laos have recently developed an innovative regulatory framework for public–private partnership contracts signed with small enterprises, in parallel with more conventional regulation of state-owned water enterprises.

FactSnippet No. 530,782

Laos has the youngest population of any country in Asia with a median age of 21.

FactSnippet No. 530,783

People of Laos are often categorised by their distribution by elevation: as this somewhat correlates with ethnic groupings.

FactSnippet No. 530,784

Laos is a member of the French-speaking organisation of La Francophonie.

FactSnippet No. 530,785

French is used in public works in central and southern Laos and Luang Prabang and is a language of diplomacy and of the elite classes, higher professions and elders.

FactSnippet No. 530,786

Laos was ranked 117th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021 down from 113rd in 2020.

FactSnippet No. 530,787

In September 2017, Laos submitted Dearest Sister, Mattie Do's second feature film, to the 90th Academy Awards (or the Oscars) for consideration for Best Foreign Language Film, marking the country's first submission for the Oscars.

FactSnippet No. 530,788

Laos has nine daily newspapers, 90 magazines, 43 radio stations, and 32 TV stations operating throughout the country.

FactSnippet No. 530,789