Mining remains the top foreign exchange earner for Laos despite the halt of Sepon gold mining operations at the end of 2013.
According to the Lao Economic Outlook, which was officially released in early April, total exports from Laos in 2013 were valued at US$2.4 billion, a 6 percent increase compared to the previous year. Some 41 percent of the exports were mining products, which are the largest foreign exchange earner in the country.
The second largest foreign exchange earner was the hydropower sector, which contributed 21 percent of the total export value, followed by the garment industry, which contributed 8 percent.
Economists believe mining products will remain the top foreign exchange earner for a while, but it will decline if the government does not open new mining operations in the country. According to the Vientiane Times, the government is reviewing its mining investment policy and hopes to resume new mining investment projects after 2015.