The U.S. Ambassador to Laos, Ms. Patricia Haslach, has officially notified Vientiane of the NTR status the U.S. is granting the tiny communist country.
The U.S. Senate approved the NTR bill in November, and President Bush signed it into law earlier this month. NTR status will allow Laos to enjoy a low tariff rate of 2.4% for goods exported to the United States, down from 45%. Currently, Laos exports $3.6 millions worth of goods to the U.S., while U.S. exports to Laos amount to approximately 550,000 dollars.
In another development, Laos, the Asian Development Bank, and the Norwegian Development Fund sign an agreement on the funding of a development plan to build infrastructures linking rural and urban areas in four provinces, with the ADB providing a $17.7 million loan and the NDF providing a $7.3 million grant.
Listen to our Laos in Brief report for details.