Vietnam’s fuel exports to Laos rose by 439% last year to $125.4 million last year.
Laos’s fuel demand rose but was unable to buy from other countries, and Vietnam sought to help its neighbor, the Vietnam Trade Office in that country said in a statement.
Laos relies on imports from neighboring Thailand for most of its petroleum. But in May last year Thai oil and gas firm PTT Oil and Retail Business Pcl, which operates 53 gas stations in Laos, said it plans to distribute fuel as usual, but that there may be “gaps.”
Local media reported at the time that a weakened kip currency, high inflation and an unstable global oil market are making it hard for fuel importers to meet public demand.
Overall exports to Laos rose by 10.4% to $656.4 million.
Other export items included steel, which fell 15% to $60.1 million, and fertilizer, which rose 31% to $32.5 million.
Imports from Laos rose by 34.6% to $1 billion, with the main items being wood and wood products, fertilizers and rubber.
Most items traded between the two countries enjoy zero tax under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, the Vietnam – Laos Bilateral Trade Agreement and the Vietnam – Laos Border Trade Agreement.
In the last three years Laos has become a favored destination for Vietnamese businesses to invest in high-quality agriculture.’