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  Vietnam  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Vietnam

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Vietnam
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Independence was declared after World War II, but the French continued to rule until 1954 when they were defeated by Communist forces under Ho Chi Minh, who took control of the North. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South. Despite the return of peace, for over two decades the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. Since 2001, Vietnamese authorities have committed to economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The country continues to experience protests from the Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands over loss of land to Vietnamese settlers and religious persecution.

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   Geography    Vietnam
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
16 00 N, 106 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Southeast Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 329,560 sq km
land: 325,360 sq km
water: 4,200 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,639 km
border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,444 km (excludes islands)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (mid-May to mid-September) and warm, dry season (mid-October to mid-March)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 19.97%
permanent crops: 5.95%
other: 74.08% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
30,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

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   People    Vietnam
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
82,689,518 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 29.4% (male 12,524,098; female 11,807,763)
15-64 years: 65% (male 26,475,156; female 27,239,543)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 1,928,568; female 2,714,390) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24.9 years
male: 24 years
female: 25.9 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.3% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.58 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.14 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 29.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 70.35 years
male: 67.86 years
female: 73.02 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.22 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
220,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)
adjective: Vietnamese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Vietnamese 85%-90%, Chinese, Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Cham, mountain groups
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Buddhist, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic, some Protestant), indigenous beliefs, Muslim
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.3%
male: 93.9%
female: 86.9% (2002)

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   Government    Vietnam
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
conventional short form: Vietnam
local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam
local short form: Viet Nam
abbreviation: SRV
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Communist state
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Hanoi
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
59 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thu do, singular and plural)
: provinces: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dac Lak, Dac Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Hai Duong, Ha Nam, Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai
: municipalities: Can Tho, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
2 September 1945 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 2 September (1945)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
15 April 1992
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on communist legal theory and French civil law system
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Tran Duc Luong (since 24 September 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (since 25 September 1997); First Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (since 29 September 1997); Deputy Prime Ministers Vu Khoan (8 August 2002) and Pham Gia Khiem (since 29 September 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister and ratification of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for a five-year term; election last held 25 July 2002 (next to be held when National Assembly meets following legislative elections in 2007); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister
election results: Tran Duc Luong elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Quoc-Hoi (498 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 19 May 2002 (next to be held 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - CPV 90%, other 10% (the 10% are not CPV members but are approved by the CPV to stand for election); seats by party - CPV 447, CPV-approved 51
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme People's Court (chief justice is elected for a five-year term by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
only party - Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nong Duc Manh, general secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Nguyen Tam Chien
chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 861-0737
FAX: [1] (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Raymond F. BURGHARDT
embassy: 7 Lang Ha Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 400, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [84] (4) 772-1500
FAX: [84] (4) 772-1510
consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center

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   Economy    Vietnam
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Vietnam is a poor, densely-populated country that has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy. Substantial progress was achieved from 1986 to 1996 in moving forward from an extremely low starting point - growth averaged around 9% per year from 1993 to 1997. The 1997 Asian financial crisis highlighted the problems in the Vietnamese economy, but rather than prompting reform, reaffirmed the government's belief that shifting to a market-oriented economy would lead to disaster. GDP growth of 8.5% in 1997 fell to 6% in 1998 and 5% in 1999. Growth then rose to 6% to 7% in 2000-02 even against the background of global recession. These numbers mask some major difficulties in economic performance. Many domestic industries, including coal, cement, steel, and paper, have reported large stockpiles of inventory and tough competition from more efficient foreign producers. Since the Party elected new leadership in 2001, Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic liberalization and have moved to implement the structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement entered into force near the end of 2001 and is expected to significantly increase Vietnam's exports to the US. The US is assisting Vietnam with implementing the legal and structural reforms called for in the agreement.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $203.7 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.2% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $2,500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 21.8%
industry: 39.7%
services: 38.5% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
37% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 29.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
36.1 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
45.74 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 63%, industry and services 37% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.1% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $8.689 billion
expenditures: $9.718 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
64.3% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
paddy rice, corn, potatoes, rubber, soybeans, coffee, tea, bananas, sugar; poultry, pigs, fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building, mining, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, coal, steel, paper
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
27.71 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
356,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
185,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.3 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.3 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
192.6 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-1.781 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$19.88 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 20.9%, Japan 13.2%, Australia 6.9%, China 6.2%, Germany 5.5%, Taiwan 4.8%, Singapore 4.4%, UK 4.2% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$22.5 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 13.6%, Taiwan 11.9%, Japan 11.2%, South Korea 10.8%, Singapore 10.3%, US 5.7%, Thailand 5.4%, Hong Kong 4.2% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.357 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$14.69 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$2.8 billion in credits and grants pledged by international donors for 2000 (2004)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
dong (VND)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
VND
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
dong per US dollar - 15,279.5 (2003), 15,279.5 (2002), 14,725.2 (2001), 14,167.7 (2000), 13,943.2 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Vietnam
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.402 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.742 million (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system, but its performance continues to lag behind that of its more modern neighbors
domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; main lines have been substantially increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly
international: country code - 84; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 65, FM 7, shortwave 29 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
at least 7 (plus 13 repeaters) (1998)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.vn
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
340 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5 million (2003)

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   Transportation    Vietnam
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,600 km
standard gauge: 178 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 2,169 km 1.000-m gauge
dual gauge: 253 km three-rail track combining 1.435-m and 1.000-m gauges (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 93,300 km
paved: 23,418 km
unpaved: 69,882 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
17,702 km
note: more than 5,149 km are navigable at all times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
condensate/gas 432 km; gas 210 km; oil 3 km; refined products 206 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Vinh, Vung Tau
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 194 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,170,621 GRT/1,798,376 DWT
by type: bulk 16, cargo 135, chemical tanker 1, container 8, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 25, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: Cambodia 1, Germany 1, Japan 2, South Korea 1, United Kingdom 3
registered in other countries: 11 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
19 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Vietnam
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
People's Army of Vietnam: Ground Forces, People's Navy Command (including Naval Infantry), Air and Air Defense Force, Coast Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 23,438,858 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 14,694,574 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 853,197 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$650 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5% (FY98)

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   Transnational Issues    Vietnam
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
demarcation of the land boundary with China continues, but maritime boundary and joint fishing zone agreement remains unratified; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; China occupies Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; involved in complex dispute with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and possibly Brunei over the Spratly Islands; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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