Trade-Offs in Sustainable Development
I first went to Laos in 1987. As I drove the streets of Vientiane on my way to meet government officials, every child under 10 would turn to stare at my rented car, a rare and unusual sight on streets used primarily by bicyclists and bullock carts, with perhaps the odd motorcycle or rickshaw. Laos was just opening up to the rest of the world. Its communist leadership rarely met Westerners. It was a poor, landlocked, rural country with the highest concentration of unexploded ordinance on earth. Today it has joined the ranks of middle-income countries, thanks to the development of its hydropower and other minerals.