Overview In 2021, Laos was the number 117 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 101 in total exports, the number 121 in total imports, the number 154 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 95 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) .

Exports The top exports of Laos are Electricity ($1.96B), Gold ($1.79B), Other Uncoated Paper ($508M), Copper Ore ($339M), and Rubber ($300M), exporting mostly to Thailand ($2.99B), China ($2.48B), Vietnam ($1.24B), Australia ($693M), and Switzerland ($253M).

Imports The top imports of Laos are Refined Petroleum ($734M), Gold ($646M), Cars ($252M), Broadcasting Equipment ($168M), and Delivery Trucks ($111M), importing mostly from Thailand ($4B), China ($1.67B), Vietnam ($680M), Switzerland ($267M), and Japan ($169M).

Location Laos borders Burma, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam by land.

Latest Trends

Latest Trade


The following section uses the most recent trade data from partners of Laos.

Disclaimer: data is presented based on availability and only countries that use the harmonized system are being shown.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

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Latest Data


The data obtained is mirror data. The trade of countries that do not report current data can be reconstructed based on data reported by partner countries with current data available.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

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Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Top Export (2021)Electricity$1.96B
Top Destination (2021)Thailand$2.99B

In 2021, Laos exported a total of $9.22B, making it the number 101 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of Laos have changed by $4.14B from $5.08B in 2016 to $9.22B in 2021.

The most recent exports are led by Electricity ($1.96B), Gold ($1.79B), Other Uncoated Paper ($508M), Copper Ore ($339M), and Rubber ($300M). The most common destination for the exports of Laos are Thailand ($2.99B), China ($2.48B), Vietnam ($1.24B), Australia ($693M), and Switzerland ($253M).

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Exports (2021)
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Destinations (2021)
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Market Growth

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2020 - 2021)
China$835M (+ 50.7%)
Australia$522M (+ 306%)
Thailand$520M (+ 21%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2020 - 2021)
Thailand$623M (+ 18.5%)
Switzerland$258M (+ 2.97k%)
China$101M (+ 6.43%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2020 - 2021)

Service Trade

Service Trade

Laos Exports Services (2019)$1.18B
Laos Imports Services (2019)$1.25B

In 2019, Laos exported $1.18B worth of services. The top services exported by Laos in 2019 were Personal travel ($935M), Transportation ($167M), Computer and information services ($33.4M), Insurance services ($26.6M), and Construction services ($14.9M).

The top services imported by Laos in 2019 were Personal travel ($1.01B), Transportation ($145M), Insurance services ($37.8M), Computer and information services ($16.8M), and Other business services ($13.7M).

Service Exports (2019)

Service Imports (2019)

Economic Complexity


Economic Complexity (Trade)-0.7Rank 95 of 131
Economic Complexity (Research)-1.14Rank 124 of 140

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

Laos has a high level of specialization in Cassava (169), Dissolving Grades Chemical Woodpulp (105), Insulating Glass (87.1), Electricity (62.9), and Other Uncoated Paper (58). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between Laos observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

The highest complexity exports of Laos according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Glass of heading no. 7003, 7004 or 7005, bent, edge-worked, engraved, drilled,... (1.23), Children's picture, drawing or colouring books (1.06), Optical fibres and optical fibre bundles; optical fibre cables not of heading... (0.99), Video recording or reproducing apparatus (0.89), and Spectacles, goggles and the like; corrective, protective or other (0.83). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for Laos according to the relatedness index, were Manganese Ore (0.17), Cocoa Beans (0.16), Raw Copper (0.16), Crustaceans (0.16), and Niobium, Tantalum, Vanadium and Zirconium Ore (0.16). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that Laos is not specialized in.

Product Space

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of Laos. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that Laos exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier


The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking


During the last 20 years Laos's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively less complex, moving from the ⁩⁨nullth to the 95th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

Explore Rankings

ECI (Trade) Ranking by Country

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