Vietnam 2002Vietnam

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Crystal Travel

Vietnam - Introduction 2002
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Background: France occupied all of Vietnam by 1884. 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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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. Economic reconstruction of the reunited country has proven difficult as aging Communist Party leaders have only grudgingly initiated reforms necessary for a free market.

Vietnam - Geography 2002
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Location: Southeastern Asia bordering the Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea alongside China Laos and Cambodia

Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N 106 00 E

Map referenceSoutheast Asia

Total: 329,560 km²
Land: 325,360 km²
Water: 4,200 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries
Total: 4,639 km
Border countries: (3) Cambodia 1,228 km; , China 1,281 km; , Laos 2,130 km

Coastline: 3,444 km (excludes islands)

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate: 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: low flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly mountainous in far north and northwest

Extremes lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m

Natural resources: phosphates coal manganese bauxite chromate offshore oil and gas deposits forests hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 17.41%
Permanent crops: 4.71%
Other: 77.88% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 30,000 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding especially in the Mekong River delta

Note: extending 1650 km north to south the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

Vietnam - People 2002
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Population: 81,098,416 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 1.43% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: 37% (1998 est.)

Noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Vietnamese

Ethnic groups: Vietnamese 85%-90% Chinese Hmong Thai Khmer Cham mountain groups

Languages: Vietnamese (official) English (increasingly favored as a second language) some French Chinese and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Religions: Buddhist Hoa Hao Cao Dai Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic some Protestant) indigenous beliefs Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 31.6% (male 13,259,152; female 12,392,089)
15-64 years: 62.9% (male 24,938,098; female 26,083,681)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 1,749,531; female 2,675,865) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.43% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 20.89 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 6.14 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.47 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: 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
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.07 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.07 male/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male/female
Total population: 0.97 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 29.34 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69.86 years
Female: 72.5 years (2002 est.)
Male: 67.4 years

Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.24% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 100,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 2,500 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 93.7%
Male: 96.5%
Female: 91.2% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Vietnam - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Conventional short form: Vietnam
Local short form: Viet Nam
Abbreviation: SRV
Local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam

Government type: Communist state

Capital: Hanoi

Administrative divisions: 58 provinces (tinh singular and plural) and 3 municipalities* (thu do singular and plural); 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 Can Tho Cao Bang Dac Lak Da Nang Dong Nai Dong Thap Gia Lai Ha Giang Hai Duong Hai Phong* Ha Nam Ha Noi* Ha Tay Ha Tinh Hoa Binh Ho Chi Minh* 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

Dependent areas

Independence: 2 September 1945 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day 2 September (1945)

Constitution: 15 April 1992

Legal system: based on communist legal theory and French civil law system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Tran Duc LUONG (since 24 September 1997)
Elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for a five-year term; election last held 24 September 1997 (next to be held when National Assembly meets following legislative elections in May 2002); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister
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 (since NA) 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
Election results: Tran Duc LUONG elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA%

Legislative branch
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: 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: only party - Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nong Duc MANH general secretary]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Nguyen Tam CHIEN
In the us consulates general: San Francisco
In the us fax: [1] (202) 861-0917
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 861-0737
In the us chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20,036
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Raymond F. BURGHARDT
From the us embassy: 7 Lang Ha Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
From the us mailing address: PSC 461, Box 400, FPO AP 96,521-0002
From the us telephone: [84] (4) 772-1500
From the us fax: [84] (4) 772-1510
From the us consulates general: Ho Chi Minh City

Flag descriptionflag of Vietnam: red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Vietnam - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: 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 leads to disaster. GDP growth of 8.5% in 1997 fell to 6% in 1998 and 5% in 1999. Growth then rose to 6.8% in 2000 and dropped back to 4.7% in 2001 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. Meanwhile Vietnamese authorities have moved slowly in implementing the structural reforms needed to revitalize the economy and 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.7% (2001 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 25%
Industry: 35%
Services: 40% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: paddy rice corn potatoes rubber soybeans coffee tea bananas sugar; poultry pigs; fish

Industries: food processing garments shoes machine building mining cement chemical fertilizer glass tires oil coal steel paper

Industrial production growth rate: 10.4% (2001 est.)

Labor force: 38.2 million (1998 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 67%
By occupation industry and services: 33% (1997 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 25% (1995 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 37% (1998 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 4%
Highest 10: 30% (1998)

Distribution of family income gini index: 36 (1998)

Revenues: $5.3 billion
Expenditures: $5.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (1999 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: -0.3% (2001 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $15.1 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: crude oil marine products rice coffee rubber tea garments shoes
Partners: Japan 18.1% China 10.6% Australia 8.8% Singapore 6.1% Taiwan 5.2% Germany 5.1% US 5.1% (2000)

Imports: $15.3 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment petroleum products fertilizer steel products raw cotton grain cement motorcycles
Partners: Singapore 17.7% Japan 14.4% Taiwan 12.1% South Korea 11.1% China 9.1% Thailand 5.2% Hong Kong 3.9% (2000)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $13.2 billion (2000)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: dong per US dollar - 15,085 (January 2002) 14,725 (2001) 14,168 (2000) 13,943 (1999) 13,268 (1998) 11,683 (1997)

Vietnam - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 25.775 billion kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 41%
By source hydro: 59%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 23.97 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Vietnam - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 730,155 (2000)

Telephone system
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; since 1991, main lines in use have been substantially increased and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly
International: satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .vn

Internet users: 400,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Vietnam - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $650 million (FY98)
Percent of gdp: 2.5% (FY98)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Vietnam - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 34 (2001)
With paved runways total: 17
With paved runways over 3047 m: 8
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 4
With paved runways under 914 m: 2 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 17
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 8 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 17
Over 3047 m: 8
2438 to 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2437 m: 4
Under 914 m: 2 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 17
Over 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 7
Under 914 m: 8 (2002)


Pipelines: petroleum products 150 km

Total: 3,142 km
Standard gauge: 209 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 2,625 km 1.000-m gauge
Dual gauge: 308 km three-rail track combining 1.435-m and 1.000-m gauges (2001)


Note: more than 5,149 km are navigable at all times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft

Merchant marine
Total: 153 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 782,912 GRT/1,173,186 DWT
Note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Cambodia 1, Japan 1, Singapore 1, United Kingdom 2 (2002 est.)
Ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 113, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, container 5, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 2

Ports and terminals

Vietnam - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: Vietnam disputes several offshore islands with Cambodia preventing delimitation of a maritime boundary; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of territorial encroachments and initiating armed border incidents in seven provinces; demarcation of boundaries with Laos is nearing completion but Laos protests Vietnamese squatters; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China Malaysia Philippines Taiwan and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary with China in the Gulf of Tonkin still awaits ratification; Paracel Islands occupied by China but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam; demarcation of the land boundary with China has commenced but details of the alignment have not been made public

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems


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