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Vietnam (2003)

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Vietnam 2003 year

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
Age structure 0-14 years: 30.2% (male 12,699,002; female 11,967,674)

15-64 years: 64.2% (male 25,776,600; female 26,599,005)

65 years and over: 5.6% (male 1,902,464; female 2,679,971) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products paddy rice, corn, potatoes, rubber, soybeans, coffee, tea, bananas, sugar; poultry, pigs; fish
Airports 47 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 24

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 6 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 23

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 12 (2002)
Area total: 329,560 sq km

land: 325,360 sq km

water: 4,200 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than New Mexico
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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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.
Birth rate 19.58 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $5.3 billion

expenditures: $5.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (1999 est.)
Capital Hanoi
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)
Coastline 3,444 km (excludes islands)
Constitution 15 April 1992
Country name 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
Currency dong (VND)
Death rate 6.19 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $14.1 billion (2001)
Diplomatic representation from the US 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
Diplomatic representation in the US 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
Disputes - international 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 a complex dispute over Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and possibly Brunei; claimants in November 2002 signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", a mechanism to ease tension but which fell short of a legally binding "code of conduct"
Economic aid - recipient $2.1 billion in credits and grants pledged by international donors for 2000
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 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. Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities 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.
Electricity - consumption 27.71 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 29.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 43.7%

hydro: 56.3%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
Environment - 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
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban
Ethnic groups Vietnamese 85%-90%, Chinese, Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Cham, mountain groups
Exchange rates dong per US dollar - 15,325.8 (2002), 14,725.2 (2001), 14,167.7 (2000), 13,943.2 (1999), 13,268 (1998)
Executive branch 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 (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

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%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $16.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Exports - partners US 15.2%, Japan 14.9%, Australia 7.6%, China 6.6%, Germany 6.5%, Singapore 5.5%, UK 4.3% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center
GDP purchasing power parity - $183.8 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 24%

industry: 37%

services: 39% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 16 00 N, 106 00 E
Geography - note extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point
Highways total: 93,300 km

paved: 23,418 km

unpaved: 69,882 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 29.9% (1998)
Illicit drugs minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $16.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles
Imports - partners South Korea 12.7%, China 12.2%, Japan 12.1%, Singapore 11.8%, Taiwan 10.6%, Thailand 5.4% (2002)
Independence 2 September 1945 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 10.2% (2002 est.)
Industries food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building, mining, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, coal, steel, paper
Infant mortality rate total: 30.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 34.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 26.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.9% (2002 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, 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)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 5 (2000)
Irrigated land 30,000 sq km (1998 est.)
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)
Labor force 38.2 million (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 63%, industry and services 37% (2000 est.)
Land boundaries total: 4,639 km

border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
Land use arable land: 17.41%

permanent crops: 4.71%

other: 77.88% (1998 est.)
Languages Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Legal system based on communist legal theory and French civil law system
Legislative branch 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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 70.05 years

male: 67.58 years

female: 72.7 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94%

male: 95.8%

female: 92.3% (2003 est.)
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia
Map references Southeast Asia
Maritime claims contiguous zone: 24 NM

continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 180 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,054,423 GRT/1,588,732 DWT

ships by type: bulk 13, cargo 128, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, container 9, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 21, refrigerated cargo 3

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Cambodia 1, Japan 1, Singapore 1, UK 2 (2002 est.)
Military branches People's Army of Vietnam (includes Ground Forces, People's Navy Command [including Naval Infantry], Air and Air Defense Force, Coast Guard)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $650 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.5% (FY98)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 22,888,109 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 14,366,732 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 17 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 871,036 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 2 September (1945)
Nationality noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)

adjective: Vietnamese
Natural hazards occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
Natural resources phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
Net migration rate -0.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines condensate/gas 432 km; gas 210 km; oil 3 km; refined products 206 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders only party - Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nong Duc MANH, general secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 81,624,716 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 37% (1998 est.)
Population growth rate 1.29% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Vinh, Vung Tau
Radio broadcast stations AM 65, FM 7, shortwave 29 (1999)
Railways 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 (2002)
Religions Buddhist, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic, some Protestant), indigenous beliefs, Muslim
Sex ratio 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 (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
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)
Telephones - main lines in use 2.6 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 730,155 (2000)
Television broadcast stations at least 7 (plus 13 repeaters) (1998)
Terrain low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
Total fertility rate 2.24 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 25% (1995 est.)
Waterways 17,702 km

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