Mining drives socio-economic development in Laos

Mining is contributing to local and national development outcomes in Laos, according to a new report by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). 'Utilizing mining and mineral resources to foster the sustainable development of the Lao PDR' found that mining has come to represent 80% of foreign direct investment in this mineral rich country.

The mining industry is a significant contributor to the country's economy, providing 45% of total exports, 12% of government revenues and 10% of national income. These benefits have been complemented at the local level by stimulating markets and enhancing incomes.

The study also reveals key challenges, including ensuring that public financial management is predictable and transparent, and insulating the economy from fluctuating international commodity prices. The research identifies a need to develop a supportive enabling environment, in which local businesses can seize opportunities in the mine supply chain. Diversity and gender issues were also recognized as challenges at the local level.

The Lao PDR report is ICMM’s fifth country case study examining the social and economic impacts of mining. It was sponsored by ICMM's first Chinese member company, MMG, and the government of Lao PDR has broadly accepted all the findings of the report. It is jointly published by ICMM and the Ministry of Energy and Mines as well as the Ministry of Planning and Investment.