Laos is a country in Southeast Asia known for its mountainous terrain, hill tribe settlements, Buddhist monasteries, and French colonial architecture. The Lao Kip (LAK) is Laos' official money, sometimes known as the Laos dollar. A kip is made up of 100 att. In 1945, the Lao kip replaced the Indochinese piastre, 4 years before Laos' independence from France. It became the country's official currency in 1952. Before being titled the Lao Kip, it was initially known as the Royal Kip, the Free Lao Kip, the Lao PDR Kip, and the Pathet Lao Kip. The Lao currency floats freely against others.
The Lao Kip banknote or paper currency was, at first, printed in France in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 kip. The symbols for the currency are ₭ and ₭N. After entering the circulation, the Lao Kip has grown to include 200, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 notes. In 2010, the addition of the 100,000 note happened. It was added to commemorate the 450th founding anniversary of Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The Lao Kip banknotes were originally printed in France until 1975 and, after, were printed in China. The kip is not pegged to other currencies. Although Laos runs on a cash economy, tourists can use credit cards in major cities at big establishments like restaurants and hotels.
The country worked to develop its economy by opening itself up to tourism following the fall of the Soviet Union ushered in economic reformations. This industry is focal to the government as it helps decrease public debt and reduces dependency on foreign aid. The tourism and travel industry accounted for approximately 14% of Laos' gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.
The country's major trading partners are China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. Top exports include bananas, non-alcoholic beverages, copper and copper cathodes, and video recording magnets. The nation is abundant in natural resources, such as oil, gas, water, and minerals, allowing it to export hydroelectric power. As mentioned, the country runs mainly on a cash economy. However, those in rural areas tend to live with no cash and work on a barter system. They also tend to carry their wealth in other resources, such as gold and land. The Laotian economy grew 4.65% in 2019, while inflation recorded 3.32%.