Karl, K4YT will be active from Laos starting 10 December 2014 as XW4YT.
He will operate in ARRL 10m Contest 13- 14 December 2014.
QSL via home call.
All about Laos
Geographical Location of Laos
Laos is actually called Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR). It is surrounded by countries such as Southern Asia which include; Burma and People’s Republic of China. On the northwest is Vietnam and on the south Cambodia. On the west, Laos is bordered by Thailand. As at July, 2014, it is estimated to have a population of about 6.8 million. Laos is a country that is land locked with only three geographical areas which simply means that it has no water boundary rather it is surrounded by land all through. As a matter of fact, it has rugged mountains with PhouBia towering to a height of 2,818metres. It also has plains and plateaus as well as very thick forest. It has two plateaus; one in the north and the other in the south with a tropical climatic condition which is influenced by monsoon pattern. It experiences only two seasons too; the dry season which is between December and April as well as rainy season which runs between May and November. However, the capital of Laos is Vientiane and it happens to be the largest city within Laos. There are also other major cities and they include; Pakse, LuangPrabang and Savannakhet. About 21% of the land mass was set aside by government in 1993 for habitat preservation.
Government and Politics
Different arms and levels of Laos’ government is country, starting from the central government to military segment and unto the communist party. As a result of this, Laos has continued to suffer economic hardship owing to the fact that it over budgeted during the cold war to military sector. It is believed that Laos is one of the most corrupt countries in the world today. As a result of this, foreign investors find it very difficult to invest in Laos as security is not fully guaranteed as well as inability to enforce proper business rules. Thus, high rate of corruption in Laos has brought poverty to the majority as many citizens are living below international poverty level of about 1.25USD per day. As a result of no much foreign investment, Laos’ revenue rate is very low and as it stands, it is one of the lowest income generating countries in the world.in 2013, Global Hunger Index placed Laos on 25th position as the hungriest country in the world as compared to about 56 hungry nations and in terms of human development, it is at 138th position according to Human Development Index.
LanXangwhich existed between 14th and 18th centuries happened to be the ancient kingdom of Laos. After a while, LanXang separated into three kingdoms. The three kingdoms are LuangPhrabang, Champasak and Vientiane. At a time in 1893, the three kingdoms came together to form Laos. In 1945, it gained independence but was granted autonomy in 1949 by French. Laos actually became independent of other countries in 1953 but this is followed by a civil war which lasted till 1975. Laos as a matter of fact runs only one party system as a socialist republic which is dominated by the military generals. Vietnam and other countries surrounding Laos are always in a dominating state over Laos. However, the official language of Laos is lao but it has so many ethnic groups.
Source of Revenue
Laos’s revenue source is generation of electricity from the rivers within the country and they sell this power to the neighbouring countries which include China, Thailand and Vietnam. Laos also has metals as one of the mineral resources and also exports them to other countries. Laos is a member of the following;
- East Asia Summit
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)
- La Francophonie
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
As a matter of fact, Laos’s economy is mainly on investment and trading with the neighbouring countries. However, the neighbouring countries has benefitted immensely from this trading transactions between them and Laos. In 2009, Obama, the president of America lifted ban from Laos security companies thereby enabling Laos to receive financial help from US. As a result of this, Laos’ Securities Exchange started trading with other countries other than their neighbours. This also goes a long way to enable importation and exportation of goods into Laos. Also, Laos citizens embark on subsistence agriculture which helps to alleviate poverty and bring about self-economic sufficiency among the masses. This method of agriculture contributes to about 80% employment in the country. Agriculture in Laos is mainly focused on rice production as about 80% of the agricultural land mass is used mainly for the production of rice. As a result of this, most farmers in Laos do not need to buy rice from elsewhere as everyone produces it. The production of rice in creased to annual rate of 5% and this enables the exportation of rice in 1999. However, as a result of rice exportation in Laos, its economy has receive financial aid from organizations like; development aid, IMF, ADB, Foreign Direct Investment.
Laos however is blessed in mineral resources. The mineral resources in Laos include;
- Beerlao, etc.
Tourism in Laos
As a matter of fact, tourism is another major source of income to Laos. Owing to rich agricultural and mineral productions, Laos has been able to have quite a lot of industries which attracts tourists into the country; from 80,000 tourists in 1990 to 1.876 million in 2010. However, the income rate as result of great in flow of tourists into Laos is on the increase and is expected to rise to 1.5857 billion USD by 2020. Interestingly, tourism industry has created about 10.9% jobs for the citizens of Laos. Apart from industries, another tourists attraction in Laos is the Buddhist culture, colonial architecture, ancient temple, backpacking, gastronomy, ancient and modern culture. Others include; Laos’ civil war history, visiting hill tribes, viewing spotting tiger, caves, waterfalls, ancient temple complex, Bolaven Plateau, etc. there are so many tourists attractions in Laos and this made The European Council on Trade and Tourism to rate Laos as the best tourist country in the world.