Lao authorities said fuel comsumption went up 30 per cent last year with a total of 627 million liters of gasoline being consumed in 2007, compared to 462 million liters in 2006. The major contributing factors are said to be the increased number of cars and investment projects that were up and running or expanding, such as Oxiana's Sepone gold and copper mines and Phou Bia's gold mines.
Laos imports all of the fuel it consumes. Total costs for fuel imports in 2007 amounted to more than 452 million dollars, up 86% from 2006, the main contributing factor being the increase in world oil price.
Authorities expect consummers as well as the manufacturing sector will be hard hit next year as oil prices continue to rise. They say the problem will be aggravated by illegal fuel trade and smuggling, which will undoubtedly affect state revenues.
Listen to our report for more details in Lao