Country Listing

Laos Table of Contents


Wholesale and Retail Trade

According to government statistics, the number of retail shops increased dramatically--by 44 percent--in just one year, to 21,600 in 1991, reflecting the response to relaxed restrictions on private trade and entrepreneurship as well as a renewed social acceptability of petty trade. Of these establishments, 97 percent are privately owned. During the same period, the number of stateowned shops decreased by one-third, to 600 stores. Wholesale and retail trade grew at a rate of 20 percent in 1989 and 1990. Retail trade was worth about K563,000 million (for value of the kip--see Glossary) in 1991, an increase of 38 percent over the preceding year.

Data as of July 1994