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Economy, Currency, Banking, and Trade

Asian financial crisis, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, hydroelectricity, unit of currency, tin

The unit of currency in Laos is the kip, which until the Asian financial crisis of 1997 was valued at 920 kip to U.S.$1. Laos has a central bank, the Bank of the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic, and six state-owned commercial banks. Foreign banks have been allowed to operate in Laos since 1989. The Foreign Trade Bank handles foreign exchange and trade. Lao exports in 2000 were valued at $315 million, while imports stood at $521 million. Principal exports included timber, hydroelectricity, coffee, and tin; principal imports included food, petroleum products, vehicles, machinery, and steel. Laosís most important trading partners are Thailand, Japan, and China. In 1997 Laos joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a commitment to establish free trade among member states by 2008.



Article key phrases:

Asian financial crisis, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, hydroelectricity, unit of currency, tin, kip, Foreign banks, central bank, member states, free trade, ASEAN, petroleum products, Thailand, timber, coffee, Japan, China, vehicles, machinery, steel, food, commitment

 
 

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