Germany and Laos: two long-standing partners
Germany and Laos have maintained diplomatic relations since 1958. Several thousand Laotians studied in former East Germany, and since 2011 nearly 12,700 Laotians (thereof 4,500 females) attended vocational schools, which were financed with German Financial Cooperation funds. Many Laotian Germany alumni now hold influential positions in politics and business, and are continuing to foster German-Laotian relations in a positive manner. Mining and the energy sector significantly contributes to growth in Laos, yet subsidence farming still prevails in the rural regions. However, minefields and unexploded shells from the Vietnam war remain a major problem here. The landlocked Southeast Asian country is still considered to be the world's most heavily bombed nation per capita. KfW Entwicklungsbank is supporting Laos as it reduces poverty in rural areas, as well as in the area of resource protection/biodiversity, vocational training and financial sector development.