The Lao PDR is currently listed as a Least Developed Country (LDC). Countries recorded in the LDC category are defined as low-income countries that are facing severe structural impediments to sustainable development.
Due to their status, these countries are granted exclusive access to specific international support in the areas of trade, development assistance, and general support.
The list is reviewed by the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) every three years. Driven by strong economic growth and rapidly improving health and education, the Lao PDR looks set to leave the group of LDCs – as soon as 2024. This is one of the top priorities of the Government of the Lao PDR.
Real income per head has more than quintupled over the past two decades rising to US$1,996 in 2018 using the World Bank’s Atlas method. This puts the Lao PDR’s economy among the LDC group’s best-performers.
Infant mortality rates more than halved over the same period. School enrolment and literacy continue to rise, among other measures of progress which are simultaneously propelling the Lao PDR toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.