Laos - Future trends

With its low population density and favorable natural resources/people ratio, the Lao PDR has a potentially bright economic future. Assuming recovery from the Asian economic crisis, there should be growing demand in the long term for Laos' valuable energy exports, which will enable the country to become more economically self-sufficient and less dependent on international aid. There are many in the West who would like Laos to adopt a multi-party system similar to that in liberal democracies. Given the problems of money politics and instability in such systems, however, the Lao PDR is more oriented toward a single party political system to ensure stability and avoid policy gridlock often associated with unstable multiple party systems. Given the past economic performance of areas such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia, the Lao are confident that their current political system is compatible with dynamic economic growth and reaching its goal to liberate the country from underdevelopment and mass poverty by the year 2020.

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