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3 definitions found
 for Laos
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Laos \Laos\ prop. n.
     a country in Southeast Asia.
     [WordNet 1.5]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a mountainous landlocked communist state in southeastern
           Asia; achieved independence from France in 1949 [syn:
           Laos, Lao People's Democratic Republic]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     Introduction Laos
                               Background: In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao
                                           took control of the government,
                                           ending a six-century-old monarchy.
                                           Initial closer ties to Vietnam and
                                           socialization were replaced with a
                                           gradual return to private
                                           enterprise, an easing of foreign
                                           investment laws, and the admission
                                           into ASEAN in 1997.
     Geography Laos
                                Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of
                                          Thailand, west of Vietnam
                  Geographic coordinates: 18 00 N, 105 00 E
                          Map references: Southeast Asia
                                    Area: total: 236,800 sq km
                                          water: 6,000 sq km
                                          land: 230,800 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly larger than Utah
                         Land boundaries: total: 5,083 km
                                          border countries: Burma 235 km,
                                          Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km,
                                          Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km
                               Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
                         Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
                                 Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May
                                          to November); dry season (December
                                          to April)
                                 Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains
                                          and plateaus
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
                                          highest point: Phou Bia 2,817 m
                       Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin,
                                          gold, gemstones
                                Land use: arable land: 3.47%
                                          permanent crops: 0.23%
                                          other: 96.31% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 1,640 sq km
                                          note: rainy season irrigation -
                                          2,169 sq km; dry season irrigation -
                                          750 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: floods, droughts
            Environment - current issues: unexploded ordnance; deforestation;
                                          soil erosion; a majority of the
                                          population does not have access to
                                          potable water
              Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
                              agreements: Change, Desertification,
                                          Environmental Modification, Law of
                                          the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone
                                          Layer Protection
                                          signed, but not ratified: none of
                                          the selected agreements
                        Geography - note: landlocked; most of the country is
                                          mountainous and thickly forested;
                                          the Mekong forms a large part of the
                                          western boundary with Thailand
     People Laos
                              Population: 5,777,180 (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.5% (male 1,233,659;
                                          female 1,219,872)
                                          15-64 years: 54.2% (male 1,543,246;
                                          female 1,591,419)
                                          65 years and over: 3.3% (male
                                          86,375; female 102,609) (2002 est.)
                  Population growth rate: 2.47% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 37.39 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 12.71 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/
                                          total population: 0.98 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 90.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 53.88 years
                                          female: 55.87 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 51.95 years
                    Total fertility rate: 5.03 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.05% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 1,400 (1999 est.)
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 130 (1999 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s)
                                          adjective: Lao or Laotian
                           Ethnic groups: Lao Loum (lowland) 68%, Lao Theung
                                          (upland) 22%, Lao Soung (highland)
                                          including the Hmong ("Meo") and the
                                          Yao (Mien) 9%, ethnic Vietnamese/
                                          Chinese 1%
                               Religions: Buddhist 60%, animist and other 40%
                                          (including various Christian
                                          denominations 1.5%)
                               Languages: Lao (official), French, English, and
                                          various ethnic languages
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 57%
                                          male: 70%
                                          female: 44% (1999 est.)
     Government Laos
                            Country name: conventional long form: Lao People's
                                          Democratic Republic
                                          conventional short form: Laos
                                          local short form: none
                                          local long form: Sathalanalat
                                          Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
                         Government type: Communist state
                                 Capital: Vientiane
                Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and
                                          plural), 1 municipality* (kampheng
                                          nakhon, singular and plural), and 1
                                          special zone** (khetphiset, singular
                                          and plural); Attapu, Bokeo,
                                          Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan,
                                          Khammouan, Louangnamtha,
                                          Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali,
                                          Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan*,
                                          Viangchan, Xaignabouli,
                                          Xaisomboun**, Xekong, Xiangkhoang
                            Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)
                        National holiday: Republic Day, 2 December (1975)
                            Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991
                            Legal system: based on traditional customs, French
                                          legal norms and procedures, and
                                          Socialist practice
                                Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
                        Executive branch: chief of state: President Gen.
                                          KHAMTAI Siphandon (since 26 February
                                          1998) and Vice President Lt. Gen.
                                          CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 27 March
                                          head of government: Prime Minister
                                          BOUNGNANG Volachit (since 27 March
                                          2001); First Deputy Prime Minister
                                          Maj. Gen. ASANG Laoli (since NA May
                                          2002), Deputy Prime Minister
                                          THONGLOUN Sisolit (since 27 March
                                          2001), and Deputy Prime Minister
                                          SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (since 26
                                          February 1998)
                                          cabinet: Council of Ministers
                                          appointed by the president, approved
                                          by the National Assembly
                                          elections: president elected by the
                                          National Assembly for a five-year
                                          term; election last held 24 February
                                          2002 (next to be held NA 2007);
                                          prime minister appointed by the
                                          president with the approval of the
                                          National Assembly for a five-year
                                          election results: KHAMTAI Siphandon
                                          elected president; percent of
                                          National Assembly vote - NA%
                      Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (109
                                          seats; members elected by popular
                                          vote to serve five-year terms; note
                                          - total number of seats increased
                                          from 99 to 109 for the 2002
                                          elections: last held 24 February
                                          2002 (next to be held NA 2007)
                                          election results: percent of vote by
                                          party - NA%; seats by party - LPRP
                                          or LPRP-approved (independent, non-
                                          party members) 109
                         Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court (the
                                          president of the People's Supreme
                                          Court is elected by the National
                                          Assembly on the recommendation of
                                          the National Assembly Standing
                                          Committee; the vice president of the
                                          People's Supreme Court and the
                                          judges are appointed by the National
                                          Assembly Standing Committee)
           Political parties and leaders: Lao People's Revolutionary Party or
                                          LPRP [KHAMTAI Siphandon, party
                                          president]; other parties proscribed
            Political pressure groups and noncommunist political groups
                                 leaders: proscribed; most opposition leaders
                                          fled the country in 1975
               International organization ACCT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP,
                           participation: FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA,
                                          IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
                                          Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA,
                                          UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU,
                                          WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador VANG
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
                                          chancery: 2222 S Street NW,
                                          Washington, DC 20008
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Douglas
                                      US: A. HARTWICK
                                          embassy: 19 Rue Bartholonie, B. P.
                                          114, Vientiane
                                          mailing address: American Embassy,
                                          Box V, APO AP 96546
                                          telephone: [856] (21) 212581,
                                          212582, 212585
                                          FAX: [856] (21) 212584
                        Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top),
                                          blue (double width), and red with a
                                          large white disk centered in the
                                          blue band
     Economy Laos
                      Economy - overview: The government of Laos - one of the
                                          few remaining official Communist
                                          states - began decentralizing
                                          control and encouraging private
                                          enterprise in 1986. The results,
                                          starting from an extremely low base,
                                          were striking - growth averaged 7%
                                          in 1988-2001 except during the
                                          short-lived drop caused by the Asian
                                          financial crisis beginning in 1997.
                                          Despite this high growth rate, Laos
                                          remains a country with a primitive
                                          infrastructure; it has no railroads,
                                          a rudimentary road system, and
                                          limited external and internal
                                          telecommunications. Electricity is
                                          available in only a few urban areas.
                                          Subsistence agriculture accounts for
                                          half of GDP and provides 80% of
                                          total employment. The economy will
                                          continue to benefit from aid from
                                          the IMF and other international
                                          sources and from new foreign
                                          investment in food-processing and
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.2
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,630
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 53%
                                          industry: 22%
                                          services: 25% (2000 est.)
           Population below poverty line: 40% (2001 est.)
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3.2%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 30.6% (1997)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 37 (1997)
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 2.4 million (1999)
             Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 80% (1997 est.)
                       Unemployment rate: 5.7% (1997 est.)
                                  Budget: revenues: $211 million
                                          expenditures: $462 million,
                                          including capital expenditures of
                                          $NA (FY98/99 est.)
                              Industries: tin and gypsum mining, timber,
                                          electric power, agricultural
                                          processing, construction, garments,
       Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1999 est.)
                Electricity - production: 1.02 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 1.96%
                                          hydro: 98.04%
                                          other: 0% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 0%
               Electricity - consumption: 690.6 million kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 400 million kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 142 million kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn,
                                          coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton;
                                          tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo,
                                          pigs, cattle, poultry
                                 Exports: $325 million (2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: wood products, garments,
                                          electricity, coffee, tin
                      Exports - partners: Thailand 20%, France 7.5%, Germany
                                          5.9%, UK 4.1%, Belgium 4% (2000)
                                 Imports: $540 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles,
                      Imports - partners: Thailand 52%, Singapore 3.9%, Japan
                                          1.6%, Hong Kong 1.5%, China 0.8%
                         Debt - external: $2.53 billion (1999)
                Economic aid - recipient: $345 million (1999 est.)
                                Currency: kip (LAK)
                           Currency code: LAK
                          Exchange rates: kips per US dollar - 9,467.00
                                          (December 2001), 8,954.58 (2001),
                                          7,887.64 (2000), 7,102.03 (1999),
                                          3,298.33 (1998), 1,259.98 (1997)
                             Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September
     Communications Laos
          Telephones - main lines in use: 25,000 (1997)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 4,915 (1997)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: service to
                                          general public is poor but
                                          improving, with over 20,000
                                          telephones currently in service and
                                          an additional 48,000 expected by
                                          2001; the government relies on a
                                          radiotelephone network to
                                          communicate with remote areas
                                          domestic: radiotelephone
                                          international: satellite earth
                                          station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian
                                          Ocean region)
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 1, shortwave 4 (1998)
                                  Radios: 730,000 (1997)
           Television broadcast stations: 4 (1999)
                             Televisions: 52,000 (1997)
                   Internet country code: .la
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
                          Internet users: 6,000 (2001)
     Transportation Laos
                                Railways: 0 km (2001)
                                Highways: total: 14,000 km
                                          paved: 3,360 km
                                          unpaved: 10,640 km (1991)
                               Waterways: 4,587 km approximately
                                          note: primarily Mekong and
                                          tributaries; 2,897 additional km are
                                          intermittently navigable by craft
                                          drawing less than 0.5 m
                               Pipelines: petroleum products 136 km
                       Ports and harbors: none
                         Merchant marine: total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 2,370 GRT/3,110 DWT
                                          ships by type: cargo 1 (2002 est.)
                                Airports: 51 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 9
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2001)
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 42
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 15
                                          under 914 m: 26 (2001)
     Military Laos
                       Military branches: Lao People's Army (LPA; including
                                          Riverine Force), Air Force, National
                                          Police Department
        Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)
        Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,365,027 (2002
     Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 734,945 (2002 est.)
             Military manpower - reaching males: 64,437 (2002 est.)
                   military age annually:
           Military expenditures - dollar $55 million (FY98)
       Military expenditures - percent of 4.2% (FY96/97)
     Transnational Issues Laos
                Disputes - international: demarcation of boundaries with
                                          Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam is
                                          nearing completion, but with
                                          Thailand, several areas including
                                          Mekong River islets, remain in
                                          dispute; ongoing disputes with
                                          Thailand and Vietnam over squatters
                           Illicit drugs: world's third-largest illicit opium
                                          producer (estimated cultivation in
                                          2001 - 22,000 hectares, a 5%
                                          decrease over 2000; estimated
                                          potential production in 2001 - 200
                                          metric tons, about the same as in
                                          2000); potential heroin producer;
                                          transshipment point for heroin and
                                          methamphetamine produced in Burma;
                                          illicit producer of cannabis;
                                          growing methamphetamine abuse

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