By building strong regional linkages, promoting foreign direct investments and leveraging its natural resources, Laos has been able to turn its economy around. Between 2006 and 2012, the Southeast Asian country’s gross national income grew nearly 170 percent to $8.7 billion. Gross domestic product averaged 8 percent during the period as well. And in 2011, the World Bank reclassified Laos from low to lower-middle income.
Laos’ economy is gradually transitioning from being centrally managed to becoming an open, free market. Toward this goal, the government, through its Seventh National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2011-2015, is working on ensuring sustainable and equitable growth, reducing poverty and meeting its Millennium Development Goals.