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. The country’s 16 provincial governors are appointed centrally, and in turn appoint district chiefs in a chain of administrative positions from the top down. Only the village head is elected, from a list of candidates drawn up by the district chief.
The LPRP has influence at all levels of government. It has party cells in each ministry and in all provincial administrations. This characteristic of Lao PDR politics and government often presents a chalenge fortimely and informed decision making.
Fairly routine administrative or technical decisions are frequently seen as political and are referred to senior officials who are busy with many responsibilities.

Four official mass organizations function under LPRP direction: the Lao Front for National Construction, the Federation of Lao Trade Unions, the Lao Women’s Union and the Revolutionary Youth Union. The government has an official policy of people’s participation, and there have been pilot projects in local participatory planning mechanisms. However, these initiatives are still incipient and there is little significant popular participation in policy issues to date. The government is also predominantly male, with the only exception in the National Assembly, which is 25 percent female—a higher percentage than in a number of industrialized countries. The national average for women’s participation at all levels of government is 1.6 percent. On average, less than 5 percent of LPRP members are women, and there is only 1 woman in the 11-person Politburo (see Tables 2 and 3). Participation is particularly low at the local level. There are no women governors or vice governors, and only 145 women village heads (1.3 percent). This is an unusual and anomalous pattern given that, globally, women tend to have more opportunities to participate in government at a local level than at a national level. It raises the question of whether decentralization might actually undermine women’s political participation.

The commitment within the government and party leadership to bringing about greater transparency, responsiveness, rule of law and popular participation has produced limited results to date. Yet these reforms are critical to the government strategy for growth with equity through the private sector and regional integration, given the need of large and small economic actors for an environment of stability, fairness and predictability. There has been a growing recognition among Lao PDR officials that reforms are needed in order not only to provide confidence to investors, but also to make the government system more effective in providing services to people and to reduce abuses of power.

http://www.vision-associates.com/client_resources/30/33/Trademark-Protection-in-Laos

Economic

The Lao economy has undergone massive change during the past two decades. Starting in 1986, it began to move from a centrally planned to a market economy. The New Economic Mechanism initiated at that time lifted price controls, unified exchange rates, opened the country to foreign trade and investment, and allowed for private agriculture and manufacturing.Responding to these reforms and to increased official development assistance (ODA) and investmentin infrastructure, the economy grew at an impressive pace, with real GDP growing at more than 6 percent per year throughout the 1990s. The base of the economy isstill predominantly agriculture, accounting for approximately 47 percent of the GDP, with industry accounting for 27 percent.8 Eighty percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and lives in rural areas, generally divided between the irrigated, intensive farm systems along the Mekong, and the highland areas cultivated with slash and burn techniques. Private-sector development, national and foreign direct investment, and trade are seen as the engines of growth. Growth enhancing investment is directed to exploiting the country’s abundant natural resources—hydroelectricpotential, mining, tourism, and wood and agricultural processing. The 2005 Nam Theun hydroelectric project on a tributary of the Mekong is a major showpiece, expected to start generating electricity in 2009 largely for export to Thailand.

The encouragement of the private sector and foreign direct investment (FDI) has been one of the incentives for reform in Lao PDR. Lao PDR has only 61 laws and many of them are related to property and business themes. Nevertheless, national private enterprises without access to
FDI have little access to credit, which would allowthemeconomies ofscale.Inthewhole country, there are only a few hundred manufacturing businesses that have more than 10 employees.
Agricultural industries are generally classified as micro and the agricultural base of the economy is mostly geared to subsistence. One of the problems faced by both FDI and local businesses is the estimated 198 days it takes to set up a business in the Lao PDR compared to the regional average of 53 days.9
It has been recognized that growth in itself will not bring equity. The government’s strategy is also directed towards more equitable activities, such as support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), agro–processing, production of light industry, and handicrafts and the development of ecotourism.
Lao PDR is in the process of redefining itself as a ‘land linked’ rather than landlocked country, aiming to take advantage of its borders with five countries by developing major transportation networks linking China and Thailand, and Vietnam and Thailand. These routes would also facilitate
Lao exports to neighbouring countries. Already, more than half of the population of Lao PDR lives along the border areas and there is a very high level of trade, much of it informal and much of it carried out by women. Informal cross-border trade helps low-income Laotians by providing cheap consumer imports, and a market fortheir goods.10
In addition to cross-border trade, approximately
250,000 Laotians (10 percent of the workforce) work as migrant labourers in Thailand, providing approximately $100 million in remittances annually.11 Women, (55 percent of the total registered migrant workers), work in homes, hotels, restaurants, the garment industry and food processing, while menwork in construction, agriculture, fishing and factories.This work has both positive and negative social consequences. It relieves social pressures of unemployment, but exposes workers to greater risk of HIV/AIDS, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.12
Tourism has grown extensively since Lao PDR opened up to the outside, bringing in almost
USD 119 million dollars in revenue in 2004 and almost 900,000 tourists.13 The challenge will be to increase the opportunities that tourism provides for small operators and producers, while maintaining the pristine environment and charm that attractstourists. As part of the new strategy, Lao PDR joined the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997 and will join ASEAN Free Trade Area
(AFTA) in 2008. ASEAN offers Lao PDR access to a significant regional market and concessionary measures as one of the poorest member countries.14

Social
Lao PDR is still one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 133 of 177 countries on the human development scale. Approximately 73 percent of the population lives on less than USD 2 per day, and 25 percent on less than USD 1.Eighty percent of the population lives in rural areas, many of which are distant and isolated from roads. While poverty levels dropped from 45 percent in 1992 to 32 percent in 2002,26 inequalities have increased, with the national consumption of the poorest 20 percent falling from 9.3 percent in 1992 to 8.5 percent in 2003. Privatesector growth will most likely benefit those who already have some advantage, such as irrigated land, better access to roads, or better education. The least advantaged are most likely to be left behind.
Lao PDR is characterized as a rural agricultural economy with almost 30 percent of food consumed by its producers. Rice farming is the most important economic activity and has been sufficient to meet national needs, although in recent years 24 out of 142 districts have experienced rice deficits. Agricultural practices vary, with the uplands having a lower agricultural yield and the lowlands higher tendency to droughts. More than 10 percent of the country is cultivated under shifting practices. Government policies to eradicate these practices and group disperse populations closer to services through reloca

http://www.scribd.com/doc/127879357/Country-Gender-Assessment-for-the-Lao-People-s-Democratic-Republic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Laos http://www.google.co.in/search?q=stability+of+laos+currency&aq=f&oq=stability+of+laos+currency&aqs=chrome.0.57j62.21966&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 http://laovoices.com/businesses-encouraged-to-register-intellectual-property/ http://www.google.co.in/search?q=IP+protection+in+Laos&aq=f&oq=IP+protection+in+Laos&aqs=chrome.0.57j62.10207&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=Intellectual+Property+protection+in+Laos&oq=Intellectual+Property+protection+in+Laos&gs_l=serp.3...6666.10810.0.11587.21.21.0.0.0.4.342.3688.0j18j2j1.21.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.5.psy-ab.KjS8PT5uUiQ&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.bmk&fp=1fc7e9b832ceaa6b&biw=1280&bih=642 http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/Laos-OVERVIEW-OF-ECONOMY.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Laos http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_geographical_features_of_laos http://www.retire-asia.com/laohistory.shtml http://www.retire-asia.com/laointro.shtml http://sweatyinasia.blogspot.in/2012/03/very-briefintroduction-to-laos.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos imp http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/330219/Laos http://www.google.co.in/search?q=favoured+trading+partners+of+laos&aq=f&oq=favoured+trading+partners+of+laos&aqs=chrome.0.57j62.9293&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/330219/Laos/52506/Agriculture-forestry-and-fishing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Laos_since_1945 http://www.laotradeportal.gov.la/index.php?r=site/display&id=290 http://www.minimum-wage.org/international/en/Laos http://laosfairtrade.net/fair-trade-laos/fair-trade-laos-minimum-standards/ http://www.google.co.in/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=product+labelling+requirements+in+laos&oq=product+labelling+requirements+in+laos&gs_l=hp.3...21000.28656.2.28844.38.19.0.17.17.2.406.4435.0j8j7j3j1.19.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.5.psy-ab.5DXjFoyJbus&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.bmk&fp=1fc7e9b832ceaa6b&biw=1280&bih=685 scribd http://www.scribd.com/doc/127879357/Country-Gender-Assessment-for-the-Lao-People-s-Democratic-Republic http://www.scribd.com/doc/124850686/The-Lao-Economy-Capitalizing-on-Natural-Resource-Exports http://www.scribd.com/doc/51501379/laos http://www.scribd.com/search?language=&limit=10&num_pages=&page=3&query=laos http://www.scribd.com/doc/88665451/Environment-and-Social-Program-in-Lao-People-s-Democratic-Republic http://www.scribd.com/doc/128360556/Laos http://www.scribd.com/doc/118438192/Laos http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/tag/laos/ http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/ADR/ADR_Reports/ADR_Laos.pdf http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/article-203639/Laos http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/laos.htm http://www.lonelyplanet.com/laos http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08794b.htm http://kassimchinfoundation.org/poverty_social_analysis.html http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/330219/Laos

porter: http://www.scribd.com/doc/111349047/5-Force-Analysis-of-Tyre-Industry http://rubber4u.com/pages/stats/about%20the%20industry%20-%20an%20overview.pdf http://www.ukessays.com/essays/marketing/a-swot-analysis-for-the-indian-rubber-industry-marketing-essay.php http://www.ipfonline.com/IPFCONTENT/articles/technical-articles/indian-rubber-industry-the-challenges-attempts-and-results.php

http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADT758.pdf

http://smallb.in/sites/default/files/knowledge_base/reports/RubberandPlastics.pdf

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=1aVtGc4NYq8C&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=threat+of+new+entrants+in+rubber+industry&source=bl&ots=-S2yXQxDDT&sig=0jIDTZ063zXspEha-J223Q95Xuw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SMBCUeTOM4T9rAfx3oHABw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=threat%20of%20new%20entrants%20in%20rubber%20industry&f=false

http://www.wikiwealth.com/five-forces…...

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...of Nations Michael E. Porter Harvard Business Review 90211 HBR MARCH±APRIL 1990 The Competitive Advantage of Nations Michael E. Porter National prosperity is created, not inherited. It does not grow out of a country's natural endowments, its labor pool, its interest rates, or its currency's value, as classical economics insists. A nation's competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate and upgrade. Companies gain advantage against the world's best competitors because of pressure and challenge. They benefit from having strong domestic rivals, aggressive home-based suppliers, and demanding local customers. In a world of increasingly global competition, nations have become more, not less, important. As the basis of competition has shifted more and more to the creation and assimilation of knowledge, the role of the nation has grown. Competitive advantage is created and sustained through a highly localized process. Differences in national values, culture, economic structures, institutions, and histories all contribute to competitive success. There are striking differences in the patterns of competitiveness in every country; no nation can or will be competitive in every or even most industries. Ultimately, nations succeed in particular industries because their home environment is the most forward-looking, dynamic, and challenging. These conclusions, the product of a four-year study Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter is the author of......

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Porter

...PORTER’S FIVE FORCES MODEL Porter identified five competitive forces that shape every single industry and market. These forces help us to analyze everything from the intensity of competition to the profitability and attractiveness of an industry. It has become a frequently used tool for analyzing a company's industry structure and its corporate strategy. Factors associated with industry structure have been found to play a dominant role in the performance of many companies, with the exception of those that are its notable leaders or failures. As such, one needs to understand these factors at the outset before delving into the characteristics of a specific firm. Michael Porter, a leading authority on industry analysis, proposed a systematic means of analyzing the potential profitability of firms in an industry known as Porter’s “five forces” model. According to Porter, an industry’s overall profitability, which is the combined profits of all competitors, depends on five basic competitive forces. • Intensity of rivalry among incumbent firms • Threat of new competitors entering the industry • Threat of substitute products or services • Bargaining power of buyers • Bargaining power of suppliers Figure here shows the relationship between the different competitive forces. THREAT OF NEW ENTRANTS The easier it is for new companies to enter the industry, the more cutthroat competition there will be. Factors that can limit the threat of new......

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