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6% of GNP (1991 est.)
_%_
[email protected]_Korea, South
_*_Geography
_#_Total area: 98,480 km2; land area: 98,190 km2


_#_Comparative area: slightly larger than Indiana


_#_Land boundary: 238 km with North Korea


_#_Coastline: 2,413 km


_#_Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: not specific

Territorial sea: 12 nm (3 nm in the Korea Strait)


_#_Disputes: Demarcation Line with North Korea; Liancourt Rocks
claimed by Japan


_#_Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter


_#_Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west
and south


_#_Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead,
hydropower


_#_Land use: arable land 21%; permanent crops 1%; meadows and pastures
1%; forest and woodland 67%; other 10%; includes irrigated 12%


_#_Environment: occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods;
earthquakes in southwest; air pollution in large cities


_#_Notes: strategic location along the Korea Strait, Sea of Japan, and
Yellow Sea


_*_People
_#_Population: 43,134,386 (July 1991), growth rate 0.8% (1991)


_#_Birth rate: 15 births/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Death rate: 6 deaths/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Net migration rate: - 1 migrant/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Infant mortality rate: 23 deaths/1,000 live births (1991)


_#_Life expectancy at birth: 67 years male, 73 years female (1991)


_#_Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (1991)


_#_Nationality: noun - Korean(s); adjective - Korean


_#_Ethnic divisions: homogeneous; small Chinese minority
(about 20,000)


_#_Religion: strong Confucian tradition; vigorous Christian minority
(28% of the total population); Buddhism; pervasive folk religion
(Shamanism); Chondokyo (religion of the heavenly way), eclectic religion
with nationalist overtones founded in 19th century, claims about 1.5
million adherents


_#_Language: Korean; English widely taught in high school


_#_Literacy: 96% (male 99%, female 94%) age 15 and over can
read and write (1990 est.)


_#_Labor force: 16,900,000; 52% services and other; 27% mining and
manufacturing; 21% agriculture, fishing, forestry (1987)


_#_Organized labor: about 10% of nonagricultural labor force in
government-sanctioned unions


_*_Government
_#_Long-form name: Republic of Korea; abbreviated ROK


_#_Type: republic


_#_Capital: Seoul


_#_Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and
6 special cities* (jikhalsi, singular and plural); Cheju-do,
Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto,
Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-jikhalsi*, Kangwon-do,
Kwangju-jikhalsi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto,
Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-jikhalsi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*,
Taegu-jikhalsi*, Taejon-jikhalsi*


_#_Independence: 15 August 1948


_#_Constitution: 25 February 1988


_#_Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law
systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


_#_National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1948)


_#_Executive branch: president, prime minister, deputy prime minister,
State Council (cabinet)


_#_Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Kuk Hoe)


_#_Judicial branch: Supreme Court


_#_Leaders:

Chief of State - President ROH Tae Woo (since 25 February 1988);

Head of Government - Prime Minister CHUNG Won Shik (since 24
May 1991); Deputy Prime Minister CHOI Kak Kyu (since 19 February
1991)


_#_Political parties and leaders:

ruling party - Democratic Liberal Party (DLP), ROH Tae Woo,
president, KIM Young Sam, chairman;
note - the DLP resulted from a merger of the Democratic Justice Party
(DJP), Reunification Democratic Party (RDP), and New Democratic
Republican Party (NDRP) on 9 February 1990;

opposition - New Democratic Party (NDP, formerly Party for Peace
and Democracy or PPD), KIM Dae Jung, president; Democratic Party (DP),
YI Ki Taek; several smaller parties


_#_Suffrage: universal at age 20


_#_Elections:

President - last held on 16 December 1987 (next to be held
December 1992);
results - ROH Tae Woo (DJP) 35.9%, KIM Young Sam (RDP) 27.5%,
KIM Dae Jung (PPD) 26.5%, other 10.1%;

National Assembly - last held on 26 April 1988 (next to be held
April 1992);
results - DJP 34%, RDP 24%, PPD 19%, NDRP 15%, other 8%;
seats - (299 total) DJP 125, PPD 70, RDP 59, NDRP 35, other 10;
note - on 9 February 1990 the DJP, RDP, and NDRP merged to form the DLP;
also the PPD became the NDP; as a result the distribution
of seats changed to DLP 218, NDP 70, other 11 (June 1990)


_#_Communists: Communist party activity banned by government


_#_Other political or pressure groups: Korean National Council of
Churches; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Council of
College Student Representatives; National Federation of Farmers'
Associations; National Council of Labor Unions; Federation of Korean
Trade Unions; Korean Veterans' Association; Federation of Korean
Industries; Korean Traders Association


_#_Member of: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77,
GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT,
INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LORCS, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


_#_Diplomatic representation: Ambassador HYUN Hong Joo;
Chancery at 2320 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone
(202) 939-5600; there are Korean Consulates General in Agana (Guam),
Anchorage, Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York,
San Francisco, and Seattle;

US - Ambassador Donald P. GREGG; Embassy at 82 Sejong-Ro,
Chongro-ku, Seoul (mailing address is APO San Francisco 96301);
telephone [82] (2) 732-2601 through 2618; there is a US Consulate
in Pusan


_#_Flag: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the
center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching
(Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field


_*_Economy
_#_Overview: The driving force behind the economy's dynamic growth
has been the planned development of an export-oriented economy in a
vigorously entrepreneurial society. Real GNP - which grew by 6.7% in 1989
after an average annual growth of over 12% between 1986-88 - grew about
9% in 1990. Labor unrest - which led to substantial wage hikes in
1987-88 - was noticeably calmer in 1990, unemployment averaged a low
2.5%, and investment was strong. Inflation rates, however, are beginning
to challenge South Korea's strong economic performance. Consumer prices
rose 8.6%, the highest rate in nine years. Policymakers are concerned
higher prices could lead to a resurgence of labor unrest.


_#_GNP: $238 billion, per capita $5,600; real growth rate 9% (1990
est.)


_#_Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.6% (1990)


_#_Unemployment rate: 2.5% (1990)


_#_Budget: revenues $38 billion; expenditures $38 billion,
including capital expenditures of $NA (1991)


_#_Exports: $65 billion (f.o.b., 1990);

commodities - textiles, clothing, electronic and electrical
equipment, footwear, machinery, steel, automobiles, ships, fish;

partners - US 30%, Japan 19%


_#_Imports: $70 billion (c.i.f., 1990);

commodities - machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil,
steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains;

partners - Japan 27%, US 24% (1990)


_#_External debt: $31.7 billion (1990)


_#_Industrial production: growth rate 8.6% (1990 est.); accounts for
about 45% of GDP


_#_Electricity: 21,000,000 kW capacity; 85,000 million kWh produced,
1,970 kWh per capita (1990)


_#_Industries: textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing,
chemicals, steel, electronics, automobile production, ship building


_#_Agriculture: accounts for 11% of GNP and employs 21% of work force
(including fishing and forestry); principal crops - rice, root crops,
barley, vegetables, fruit; livestock and livestock products - cattle,
hogs, chickens, milk, eggs; self-sufficient in food, except for wheat;
fish catch of 2.9 million metric tons, seventh-largest in world


_#_Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $3.9
billion; non-US countries (1970-89), $3.0 billion


_#_Currency: South Korean won (plural - won);
1 South Korean won (W) = 100 chon (theoretical)


_#_Exchange rates: South Korean won (W) per US$1 - 718.14 (January
1991), 707.76 (1990), 671.46 (1989), 731.47 (1988), 822.57 (1987), 881.45
(1986), 870.02 (1985)


_#_Fiscal year: calendar year


_*_Communications
_#_Railroads: 3,106 km operating in 1983; 3,059 km 1.435-meter
standard gauge, 47 km 0.610-meter narrow gauge, 712 km double track,
418 km electrified; government owned


_#_Highways: 62,936 km total (1982); 13,476 km national highway,
49,460 km provincial and local roads


_#_Inland waterways: 1,609 km; use restricted to small native craft


_#_Pipelines: 455 km refined products


_#_Ports: Pusan, Inchon, Kunsan, Mokpo, Ulsan


_#_Merchant marine: 439 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,182,519
GRT/11,906,897 DWT; includes 2 short-sea passenger, 138 cargo, 45
container, 11 refrigerated cargo, 11 vehicle carrier, 48 petroleum, oils,
and lubricants (POL) tanker, 10 chemical tanker, 13 liquefied gas, 7
combination ore/oil, 146 bulk, 7 combination bulk, 1 multifunction
large-load carrier


_#_Civil air: 93 major transport aircraft


_#_Airports: 110 total, 102 usable; 60 with permanent-surface runways;
none with runways over 3,659 m; 21 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 17 with
runways 1,220-2,439 m


_#_Telecommunications: adequate domestic and international services;
4,800,000 telephones; stations - 79 AM, 46 FM, 256 TV (57 of 1 kW or
greater); satellite earth stations - 2 Pacific Ocean INTELSAT and 1 Indian
Ocean INTELSAT


_*_Defense Forces
_#_Branches: Army, Navy (including Marines), Air Force


_#_Manpower availability: males 15-49, 12,859,511; 8,294,624 fit for
military service; 429,088 reach military age (18) annually


_#_Defense expenditures: $10.4 billion, 4.5% of GNP (1991)
_%_
[email protected]_Kuwait
_*_Geography
_#_Total area: 17,820 km2; land area: 17,820 km2


_#_Comparative area: slightly smaller than New Jersey


_#_Land boundaries: 462 km total; Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km


_#_Coastline: 499 km


_#_Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: not specific;

Territorial sea: 12 nm


_#_Disputes: Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait from
2 August 1990 until 27 February 1991; in April 1991 official Iraqi
acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 687, which demands that Iraq
accept its internationally recognized border with Kuwait, ended earlier
claims to Bubiyan and Warbah Islands or to all of Kuwait; ownership
of Qaruh and Umm al Maradim Islands disputed by Saudi Arabia


_#_Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters


_#_Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain


_#_Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas


_#_Land use: arable land NEGL%; permanent crops 0%; meadows and
pastures 8%; forest and woodland NEGL%; other 92%; includes irrigated
NEGL%


_#_Environment: some of world's largest and most sophisticated
desalination facilities provide most of water; air and water pollution;
desertification


_#_Note: strategic location at head of Persian Gulf


_*_People
_#_Population: 2,204,400 (July 1991), growth rate 3.6% (1991)


_#_Birth rate: 29 births/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Death rate: 2 deaths/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Net migration rate: 10 migrants/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Infant mortality rate: 15 deaths/1,000 live births (1991)


_#_Life expectancy at birth: 72 years male, 76 years female (1991)


_#_Total fertility rate: 3.7 children born/woman (1991)


_#_Nationality: noun - Kuwaiti(s); adjective - Kuwaiti


_#_Ethnic divisions: Kuwaiti 27.9%, other Arab 39%, South Asian 9%,
Iranian 4%, other 20.1%


_#_Religion:
Muslim 85% (Shia 30%, Sunni 45%, other 10%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi,
and other 15%


_#_Language: Arabic (official); English widely spoken


_#_Literacy: 74% (male 78%, female 69%) age 15 and over can
read and write (1985)


_#_Labor force: 566,000 (1986); services 45.0%, construction 20.0%,
trade 12.0%, manufacturing 8.6%, finance and real estate 2.6%,
agriculture 1.9%, power and water 1.7%, mining and quarrying 1.4%; 70% of
labor force was non-Kuwaiti


_#_Organized labor: labor unions exist in oil industry and among
government personnel


_*_Government
_#_Long-form name: State of Kuwait


_#_Type: nominal constitutional monarchy


_#_Capital: Kuwait


_#_Administrative divisions: 4 governorates (muhafazat,
singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Jahrah, Al Kuwayt,
Hawalli; note - there may be a new governorate of Farwaniyyah


_#_Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)


_#_Constitution: 16 November 1962 (some provisions suspended since 29
August 1962)


_#_Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in
personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


_#_National holiday: National Day, 25 February


_#_Executive branch: amir, prime minister, deputy prime minister,
Council of Ministers (cabinet)


_#_Legislative branch: National Assembly (Majlis al Umma) dissolved
3 July 1986


_#_Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal


_#_Leaders:

Chief of State - Amir Shaykh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-SABAH
(since 31 December 1977);

Head of Government - Prime Minister and Crown Prince Sad
al-Abdallah al-Salim al-SABAH (since 8 February 1978); Deputy
Prime Minister Salim al-Sabah al-Salim al-SABAH


_#_Political parties and leaders: none


_#_Suffrage: adult males who resided in Kuwait before 1920 and their
male descendants at age 21; note - out of all citizens, only 8.3% are
eligible to vote and only 3.5% actually vote


_#_Elections:

National Assembly - dissolved 3 July 1986; new elections are
scheduled for October 1992


_#_Communists: insignificant


_#_Other political or pressure groups: large (150,000) Palestinian
community; several small, clandestine leftist and Shia fundamentalist
groups are active; prodemocracy opposition


_#_Member of: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, ESCWA, FAO,
G-77, GATT, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF,
IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU,
LORCS, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU,
WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO


_#_Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Shaykh Saud Nasir al-SABAH;
Chancery at 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington DC 20008;
telephone (202) 966-0702;

US - Ambassador Edward (Skip) GNEHM; Embassy at Bneid al-Gar
(opposite the Hilton Hotel), Kuwait City (mailing address is P. O. Box 77
Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait City); telephone [965] 242-4151 through 4159


_#_Flag: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and
red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side


_*_Economy
_#_Overview: Up to the invasion by Iraq in August 1990, the oil
sector had dominated the economy. Kuwait has the third-largest
oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Earnings from
hydrocarbons generated over 90% of both export and government revenues
and contributed about 40% to GDP. Most of the nonoil sector has
traditionally been dependent upon oil-derived government revenues.
Iraq's destruction of Kuwait's oil industry during the Gulf war
has devastated the economy. Iraq destroyed or damaged more than 80%
of Kuwait's 950 operating oil wells, as well as sabotaging key surface
facilities. Western firefighters had brought about 140 of the 600
oil well fires and blowouts under control as of early June 1991.
It could take two to three years to restore Kuwait's oil production to
its prewar level of about 2.0 million barrels per day.


_#_GDP: $19.8 billion, per capita $9,700; real growth rate 3.5%
(1989)


_#_Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.3% (1989)


_#_Unemployment rate: 0% (1989)


_#_Budget: revenues $7.1 billion; expenditures $10.5 billion,
including capital expenditures of $3.1 billion (FY88)


_#_Exports: $11.5 billion (f.o.b., 1989);

commodities - oil 90%;

partners - Japan, Italy, FRG, US


_#_Imports: $6.3 billion (f.o.b., 1989);

commodities - food, construction materials, vehicles and parts,
clothing;

partners - Japan, US, FRG, UK


_#_External debt: $7.2 billion (December 1989 est.)


_#_Industrial production: growth rate 3% (1988); accounts for
52% of GDP


_#_Electricity: 8,290,000 kW capacity; 10,000 million kWh produced,
5,000 kWh per capita (1989)


_#_Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food
processing, salt, construction


_#_Agriculture: virtually none; dependent on imports for food; about
75% of potable water must be distilled or imported


_#_Economic aid: donor - pledged $18.3 billion in bilateral aid to less
developed countries (1979-89)


_#_Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (plural - dinars);
1 Kuwaiti dinar (KD) = 1,000 fils


_#_Exchange rates: Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US$1 - 0.2915 (January
1990), 0.2937 (1989), 0.2790 (1988), 0.2786 (1987), 0.2919 (1986), 0.3007
(1985)


_#_Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


_*_Communications
_#_Highways: 3,000 km total; 2,500 km bituminous; 500 km earth, sand,
light gravel


_#_Pipelines: crude oil, 877 km; refined products, 40 km; natural gas,
165 km


_#_Ports: Ash Shuaybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Mina al Ahmadi


_#_Merchant marine: 31 ships (1,000 GRT or over), totaling 1,332,159
GRT/2,099,303 DWT; includes 1 cargo, 4 livestock carrier,
20 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 5 liquefied gas, 1 bulk;
note - all Kuwaiti ships greater than 1,000 GRT were outside Kuwaiti
waters at the time of the Iraqi invasion; many of these ships transferred
to the Liberian flag or to the flags of other Persian Gulf states;
Kuwaiti tankers are currently managed from London and Kuwaiti cargo and
container ships are managed from Dubai


_#_Civil air: 19 major transport aircraft


_#_Airports: 7 total, 4 usable; 4 with permanent-surface runways;
none with runways over 3,659 m; 4 with runways 2,440-3,659 m;
none with runways 1,220-2,439 m


_#_Telecommunications: excellent international, adequate domestic
facilities; 258,000 telephones; stations - 3 AM, 2 FM, 3 TV; satellite
earth stations - 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT, and 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT; 1
INMARSAT, 1 ARABSAT; coaxial cable and radio relay to Iraq and Saudi
Arabia


_*_Defense Forces
_#_Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police Force, National
Guard


_#_Manpower availability: males 15-49, 738,812; 441,611 fit for
military service; 19,452 reach military age (18) annually


_#_Defense expenditures: $1.1 billion, 4.8% of GDP (1990)
_%_
[email protected]_Laos
_*_Geography
_#_Total area: 236,800 km2; land area: 230,800 km2


_#_Comparative area: slightly larger than Utah


_#_Land boundaries: 5,083 km total; Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km,
China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km


_#_Coastline: none - landlocked


_#_Maritime claims: none - landlocked


_#_Disputes: boundary dispute with Thailand


_#_Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry
season (December to April)


_#_Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus


_#_Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold,
gemstones


_#_Land use: arable land 4%; permanent crops NEGL%; meadows and
pastures 3%; forest and woodland 58%; other 35%; includes irrigated 1%


_#_Environment: deforestation; soil erosion; subject to floods


_#_Note: landlocked


_*_People
_#_Population: 4,113,223 (July 1991), growth rate 2.2% (1991)


_#_Birth rate: 37 births/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Death rate: 15 deaths/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1991)


_#_Infant mortality rate: 124 deaths/1,000 live births (1991)


_#_Life expectancy at birth: 49 years male, 52 years female (1991)


_#_Total fertility rate: 5.0 children born/woman (1991)


_#_Nationality: noun - Lao (sing., Lao or Laotian); adjective - Lao
or Laotian


_#_Ethnic divisions: Lao 50%, Phoutheung (Kha) 15%, tribal Thai 20%,
Meo, Hmong, Yao, and other 15%


_#_Religion: Buddhist 85%, animist and other 15%


_#_Language: Lao (official), French, and English


_#_Literacy: 84% (male 92%, female 76%) age 15 to 45 can
read and write (1985 est.)


_#_Labor force: 1-1.5 million; 85-90% in agriculture (est.)


_#_Organized labor: Lao Federation of Trade Unions is subordinate to
the Communist party


_*_Government
_#_Long-form name: Lao People's Democratic Republic


_#_Type: Communist state


_#_Capital: Vientiane


_#_Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and
plural) and 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural);
Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamsai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louang
Namtha, Louangphrabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Saravan, Savannakhet,
Sekong, Vientiane, Vientiane*, Xaignabouri, Xiangkhoang


_#_Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)


_#_Constitution: draft constitution under discussion since 1976


_#_Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


_#_National holiday: National Day (proclamation of the Lao People's
Democratic Republic), 2 December (1975)


_#_Executive branch: president, chairman and four vice chairmen of the
Council of Ministers, Council of Ministers (cabinet)


_#_Legislative branch: Supreme People's Assembly


_#_Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court


_#_Leaders:

Chief of State - President KAYSONE PHOMVIHAN (since 15
August 1991);

Head of Government - Chairman of the Council of Ministers General
Gen. KHAMTAI SIPHANDON (since 15 August 1991)


_#_Political parties and leaders:
Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), KAYSONE PHOMVIHAN, party
chairman;
includes Lao Patriotic Front and Alliance Committee of Patriotic
Neutralist Forces;
other parties moribund


_#_Suffrage: universal at age 18


_#_Elections:

Supreme People's Assembly - last held on 26 March 1989 (next to be
held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA;
seats - (79 total) number of seats by party NA


_#_Other political or pressure groups: non-Communist political groups
moribund; most leaders have fled the country


_#_Member of: ACCT (associate), AsDB, CP, ESCAP,
FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, ILO, IMF, INTERPOL, IOC, ITU,
LORCS, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO


_#_Diplomatic representation: Charge d'Affaires LINTHONG PHETSAVAN;
Chancery at 2222 S Street NW, Washington DC 20008;
telephone (202) 332-6416 or 6417;

US - Charge d'Affaires Charles B. SALMON, Jr.; Embassy at Rue
Bartholonie, Vientiane (mailing address is B. P. 114, Vientiane, or
Box V, APO San Francisco 96346); telephone 2220, 2357, 2384


_#_Flag: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and
red with a large white disk centered in the blue band


_*_Economy
_#_Overview: One of the world's poorest nations, Laos has had a
Communist centrally planned economy with government ownership and control
of productive enterprises of any size. Recently, however, the government
has been decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise.
Laos is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure, that is,
it has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, limited external and
internal telecommunications, and electricity available in only a
limited area. Subsistence agriculture is the main occupation,
accounting for over 60% of GDP and providing about 85-90% of
total employment. The predominant crop is rice. For the foreseeable
future the economy will continue to depend for its survival on foreign
aid from the IMF and other international sources; foreign aid from the
USSR and Eastern Europe is being cut sharply.


_#_GDP: $600 million, per capita $150; real growth rate 5% (1990 est.)


_#_Inflation rate (consumer prices): 22% (1990 est.)


_#_Unemployment rate: 21% (1989 est.)


_#_Budget: revenues $83 million; expenditures $188.5 million,
including capital expenditures of $94 million (1990 est.)


_#_Exports: $72 million (f.o.b., 1990 est.);

commodities - electricity, wood products, coffee, tin;

partners - Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, USSR, US


_#_Imports: $238 million (c.i.f., 1990 est.);

commodities - food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures;

partners - Thailand, USSR, Japan, France, Vietnam


_#_External debt: $1.1 billion (1990 est.)


_#_Industrial production: growth rate 8% (1989 est.); accounts
for about 20% of GDP



Online LibraryUnited States. Central Intelligence AgencyThe 1991 CIA World Factbook → online text (page 41 of 89)