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Laos records trade surplus of 1.39 bln USD in 2022

VIENTIANE, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Laos recorded a trade surplus of 1.39 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, and the total value of the country's imports and exports was 15 billion dollars.

In 2022, the country's exports were worth about 8.19 billion dollars, while imports were valued at 6.8 billion dollars, the Lao Economic Daily reported on Friday.

Thailand was the largest export market for Laos in 2022, followed by China, Vietnam, Australia and Cambodia.

Thailand was also Laos' largest source for imports, followed by China and Vietnam, according to the report.

Electricity represented the largest share of Laos' total exports in 2022, with a value of 2.35 billion dollars, followed by mining, gold, rubber, coffee, cassava, garments and other agricultural products.

Meanwhile, the main imported products for Laos included fuel, vehicles and spare parts, machinery, steel and steel products, wood pulp and paper scraps, sugar, and plastic products.

Lao researchers said although Laos recorded a trade surplus in the past year, the country still exports a considerable volume of raw materials that need to be processed for export.

They suggested that attracting investments into manufacturing raw materials is essential to adding value to Lao products and boosting the country's exports.

Researchers also recommended that it's critical to create favorable conditions for entrepreneurs to bring all foreign currencies into Laos earned from exports, not depositing offshore, as the move will help stabilize exchange rates and maintain the value of local currency, said the report.