A Steady Increase in Trade Turnover for Laos and Vietnam in 2022

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Lao-Vietnam Border

A 27% increase has been reported from the same period last year, in the first eight months of 2022. 

Laos’s main export sources are electricity, gold, paper and paper-related products, copper ore, rubber, and agricultural products and it primarily imports petrol, vehicles, equipment and machinery. Vietnamese export goods have been valued at USD 414.5 million, with an annual increase of 1.37%, while Laos’s exports to the country stand at USD 662 million, an impressive rise of 50.7% from last year.

It is expected that the two countries will hit USD 1.6 billion this year in terms of total trade turnover, which is a 20% increase from 2021. This would fulfill the target set by their representatives at the 44th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee on Bilateral Cooperation.

Between January and August, two-way trade gross revenue between Laos and the world was estimated at USD 8.97 billion USD, down by 1.1% in comparison to the same period last year, of which exports earned USD 4.65 billion while imports were valued at USD 4.32 billion. Laos also received a trade surplus of USD 330 million.

Vietnam ranks third among Laos’s exporters and one of the country’s main trading partners with a turnover of USD 304 million, accounting for its total import turnover of 7.9%.

The two countries are also working on a proposed railway project that could further strengthen their trading ties. The rail route, whose construction is expected to start in November 2022, would connect Laos to the Vietnamese port city of Vung Ang, from its capital, Vientiane. The 555 km track would cost approximately USD 5 billion and give Laos crucial access to formidable markets like South Korea and Japan through the South China sea.

Vietnam currently has 417 investments in Laos worth USD 4.3 billion and is one of the country’s three top foreign investors. And although the completion date of the railways project hasn’t been announced yet, it will definitely cement ties between the two countries and promote trade in the overall ASEAN region.