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Laos and ASEAN — when the country became a member and what to expect

One of the important days in recent Laotian history is the day when the country joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). That was the case on July 23, 1997. At that time, Laos and Myanmar both became members of ASEAN. The association originally only consisted of its five founding fathers, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Over time, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and ultimately Cambodia became members. This brings ASEAN to a total of 10 member states. There is no question that this association is one of the global powerhouses. A lot has changed for Laos since joining in 1997. However, the membership is only one of many factors that contributed to this development. There are others like the the good relationship with China and various measures to boost the economy.

Why ASEAN membership can be a big boost for Laos economy

So far, membership in ASEAN has not helped Laos to achieve an enormous economic boom. However, it can’t be denied that Laos now is more attractive as a business location and that at least some industries have benefited from membership. For example, the export figures for Laos coffee are remarkable  As part of the ASEAN community, it’s also more likely that a higher amount of investors will settle in Laos in the future. That can definitely contribute to the growth of Laotian economy.  Especially since other factors are already helping to improve the economic conditions. Larger countries in Asia and the World Bank support Laos in many ways. The Chinese are already doing a lot in the area of ​​infrastructure. So in a few years it could be possible that Laos has a well-developed rail network. This would of course also have an impact on transporting goods and Laos tourism, since many travelers like traveling by train.

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