Laos is officially admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Southeast Asian country worked on its membership for 15 years before the WTO general council accepted its bid on October 26, 2012. The announcement of the move came on January 10 after Laos ratified an agreement to become the 158th member of the organization. With the entry into the WTO, Laos hopes for an increased trade volume, new trade partners as well as the prospect of fresh investment pouring into the country.
Laos has an ambition to forsake the status of the least developed country by 2020.