The United States and Laos: Opportunities for Development Cooperation
Laos, Southeast Asia's only landlocked country, has made significant progress in economic growth, poverty reduction, and education in the last two decades. It has grown at an astonishing 7 percent growth rate a year prior to the pandemic and has taken steps to grow its energy sector and business environment. However, Covid-19 has had a significant impact across Laos, with significant drawbacks in health infrastructure, agriculture, and small businesses. It is a country that the United States has also shared a complicated history due to the legacy of the Vietnam War.
In 2016, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to ever visit the country, culminating in the U.S.-Lao PDR Comprehensive Partnership. The agreement marks a turning point for the United States and its development partners to support sustainable growth in Laos while strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. CSIS is pleased to welcome Ambassador Peter Haymond, U.S. Ambassador to Laos, for an armchair conversation on U.S.-Lao relations, followed by an expert panel to discuss the future of development cooperation in Laos and the Southeast Asia region.
This event is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).