Discusses the distribution network within the country from how products enter to final destination, including reliability and condition of distribution mechanisms, major distribution centers, ports, etc.
Last Published: 7/15/2019

Generally, import-export wholesale companies import goods into Laos and sell goods to retailers.  Goods may enter Laos by air, road, or (less formally) by river.  Laos possesses just one active railroad, a short spur line from Nong Khai, just across the river in Thailand, which began operations in 2009 and opened its freight facilities in 2016.  Construction began on a railway line that will link Kunming in China’s Yunnan Province with Vientiane; as mentioned in the 2018 report Lao Government agency, the project is 46 percent complete and appears on track to open in 2021.  The Lao and Vietnamese governments have also agreed in principle to develop an expressway and railway line to link Vientiane with a seaport at Vung Ang in Vietnam. The lack of a well-developed road system and other basic infrastructure in many areas makes distribution outside of the main urban areas in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse difficult, time-consuming, and costly.  Road improvements are ongoing, with several decent roads in the northern provinces and along the southern corridor connecting Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.  More companies based in Laos are electing to move their products to the deep-water ports of Vietnam, as road improvements have—in some cases—made the route more economical than traveling south to Thai ports.

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Laos Marketing