Laos is on course to graduate from least developed country status

Past policies that have enabled Laos to meet the UN’s least developed country (LDC) graduation thresholds are no longer adequate to ensure sustainable development. The focus of future policies should be on fostering greater productive capacity, increased economic diversification and enabling a stronger business environment.

The UN’s 2018 triennial review of Laos’ LDC status found that the country is eligible for graduation for the first time, having passed thresholds for two of the three graduation criteria: gross national income per capita and the human assets index. While not yet meeting the threshold for the economic vulnerability index, the remaining criterion, Laos has managed to reduce this index to a level close to the required threshold.

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Buavanh Vilavong and Sitthiroth Rasphone