Laos in 2009 was colored by the Southeast Asian Games held in December, and by the effects of the global financial crisis. Growth rates declined as foreign investment, primarily in hydroelectric power and infrastructure, was postponed. Simultaneously, efforts were made to strengthen the reputation of the country internationally.
Laos in 2008 will be remembered for the worst flooding in decades. No significant societal changes occurred; politics remains as usual, and the resource-rich country continues along the path of economic development through the exploitation of hydropower and mining. Regional integration is progressing through improved infrastructure and the strengthening of relationships with China.