• Laos becomes a French protectorate till 1945, when it is briefly occupied towards the end of World War II by the Japanese.

  • France resumes control over Laos.

  • After being granted semi-autonomy, Laos becomes an associated state within the French Union. 

  • Laos gains full independence from France as a constitutional monarchy.

  • After being encouraged by Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union, Laos introduces market-oriented reforms.

  • The United States lifts its 20-year aid embargo on Laos.

  • Laos becomes a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Laos currency, the kip, falls in value due to the Asian financial crisis. 

  • Government embarks on decentralization process, granting more autonomy and budgetary responsibilities to provinces. 

  • The International Monetary Fund approves a three year loan worth approximately $40 million for Laos, with the aim of increasing macroeconomic stability and reducing poverty.

  • The United States established Normal Trade Relations and begins to allow free trade with Laos, and ends punitive import taxes. Also, the World Banks approves loans for the Nam Theun Two hydroelectric dam project, which would produce electricity for Laos to export.

  • Laos becomes a full member of the World Trade Organization.

  • Laos opens its new stock exchange in Vientiane as part of their experiment with capitalism.

  • US commits 90 million US dollars over three years to help clear unexploded bombs the US dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War.

  • Despite international efforts to end illegal ivory trading, conservationists warn that Laos has the fastest growing ivory market in the world.


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