After more than a decade of high growth with low inflation, Lao P.D.R. is solidifying its progress towards graduating from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status. However, more than one fifth of the population remains poor, regional disparities are persistent, and recurring natural disasters pose risks for poverty reduction. A large current account deficit, low level of reserves, a high level of debt, managed exchange rate, and a dollarized banking system amplify macro-vulnerabilities. The authorities recognize the current economic challenges and their comprehensive reform programs aim at rebalancing the economy from a resource-based to a more diversified growth model by investing in human development and improving competitiveness.