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Laos: Background, Economic Conditions, and Tourism

  • Scott Hipsher
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Abstract

Laos PDR is a fascinating landlocked and sparsely populated country with close cultural, linguistic, and religious ties with its neighbor Thailand. The first major political entity to arise in modern-day Laos was Lan Xang, which controlled much of Mainland Southeast Asia. After the fall of the Lan Xang Kingdom, the region fell into a period of political fragmentation, followed by an era of indirect control by the Thais before being incorporated into France’s Indochinese colonial sphere of influence. Shortly after gaining its independence, the country got caught up in the regional struggle between the forces of Communism and the forces opposed to Communism, with the result of the Communist forces coming out on top in the country’s civil war. The country remains under control of a government controlled by a handful of members of the Communist Party and while the country’s relatively small population is quite poor by international standards, the country has seen respectable economic growth over the past years driven to some extent by increases in foreign investment and tourism, although foreign aid continues to be a major component of the nation’s economy. The government has developed close political relations with China, while the tourism sector has seen steady growth in recent years and is expected to continue to grow into the foreseeable future.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Hipsher
    • 1
  1. 1.Webster University ThailandBangkokThailand

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