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Vietnam (2008)

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Vietnam 2008 year

Administrative divisions 59 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, 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, Ha Nam, Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, 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
Age structure 0-14 years: 26.3% (male 11,617,032/female 10,784,264)

15-64 years: 67.9% (male 28,711,464/female 29,205,498)

65 years and over: 5.8% (male 1,919,138/female 3,024,960) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood
Airports 44 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 37

over 3,047 m: 9

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Area total: 329,560 sq km

land: 325,360 sq km

water: 4,200 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than New Mexico
Background The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. 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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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 reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased 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 various groups - such as the Protestant Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands and the Hoa Hao Buddhists in southern Vietnam over religious persecution. Montagnard grievances also include the loss of land to Vietnamese settlers.
Birth rate 16.63 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $18.28 billion

expenditures: $19.79 billion (2007 est.)
Capital name: Hanoi

geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to 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
Death rate 6.19 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $24.41 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Michael W. MICHALAK

embassy: 7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

mailing address: PSC 461, Box 400, FPO AP 96521-0002

telephone: [84] (4) 850-5000

FAX: [84] (4) 850-5010

consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador (Appointed) Le Cong PHUNG

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 southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; establishment of a maritime boundary with Cambodia is hampered by unresolved dispute over the sovereignty of offshore islands; demarcation of the China-Vietnam boundary proceeds slowly and although the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements were ratified in June 2004, implementation has been delayed; China occupies the 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; Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands
Economic aid - recipient $5.4 billion in credits and grants pledged by the 2007 Consultative Group meeting in Hanoi (2007)
Economy - overview Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that in the last 30 years 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. Economic stagnation marked the period after reunification from 1975 to 1985. In 1986, the Sixth Party Congress approved a broad economic reform package that introduced market reforms and set the groundwork for Vietnam's improved investment climate. Substantial progress was achieved from 1986 to 1997 in moving forward from an extremely low level of development and significantly reducing poverty. The 1997 Asian financial crisis highlighted the problems in the Vietnamese economy and temporarily allowed opponents of reform to slow progress toward a market-oriented economy. GDP growth averaged 6.8% per year from 1997 to 2004 even against the background of the Asian financial crisis and a global recession. Since 2001, Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic liberalization and international integration. They have moved to implement the structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The economy grew 8.5% in 2007. Vietnam's membership in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and entry into force of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement in December 2001 have led to even more rapid changes in Vietnam's trade and economic regime. Vietnam's exports to the US increased 900% from 2001 to 2007. Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007, following over a decade long negotiation process. WTO membership has provided Vietnam an anchor to the global market and reinforced the domestic economic reform process. Among other benefits, accession allows Vietnam to take advantage of the phase-out of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which eliminated quotas on textiles and clothing for WTO partners on 1 January 2005. Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink, from about 25% in 2000 to less than 20% in 2007. Deep poverty, defined as a percent of the population living under $1 per day, has declined significantly and is now smaller than that of China, India, and the Philippines. Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one-and-a-half million people every year. In an effort to stem high inflation which took off in 2007, early in 2008 Vietnamese authorities began to raise benchmark interest rates and reserve requirements. Hanoi is targeting an economic growth rate of 7.5-8% during the next four years.
Electricity - consumption 51.35 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2007)
Electricity - production 59.01 billion kWh (2007)
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, 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
Ethnic groups Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khome 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nun 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999 census)
Exchange rates dong per US dollar - 16,119 (2007), 15,983 (2006), 15,746 (2005), NA (2004), 15,510 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: President Nguyen Minh TRIET (since 27 June 2006); Vice President Nguyen Thi DOAN (since 25 July 2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG (since 27 June 2006); Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh HUNG (since 28 June 2006), Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung HAI (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien NHAN (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia KHIEM (since 28 June 2006), and Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh TRONG (since 28 June 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president based on proposal of prime minister and confirmed by National Assembly

elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for five-year term; last held 27 June 2006 (next to be held in 2011); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister; appointment of prime minister and deputy prime ministers confirmed by National Assembly

election results: Nguyen Minh TRIET elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 94%; Nguyen Tan DUNG elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - 92%
Exports 0 kWh (2007)
Exports $48.3 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Exports 315,700 bbl/day (2007)
Exports - commodities crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Exports - partners US 21.2%, Japan 12.3%, Australia 9.4%, China 5.7%, Germany 4.5% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 19.4%

industry: 42.3%

services: 38.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 8.5% (2007 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
Heliports 1 (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 28.9% (2004)
Illicit drugs minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns
Imports 0 kWh (2007)
Imports $60.75 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2007)
Imports 271,100 bbl/day (2007)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles
Imports - partners China 17.7%, Singapore 12.9%, Taiwan 11.5%, Japan 9.8%, South Korea 8.4%, Thailand 7.3%, Malaysia 4.2% (2006)
Independence 2 September 1945 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 17.1% (2007 est.)
Industries food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper
Infant mortality rate total: 24.37 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 23.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.3% (2007 est.)
International organization participation ACCT (observer), ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 30,000 sq km (2003)
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 45.73 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 55.6%

industry: 18.9%

services: 25.5% (July 2005)
Land boundaries total: 4,639 km

border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
Land use arable land: 20.14%

permanent crops: 6.93%

other: 72.93% (2005)
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 has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 20 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPV 450, non-party CPV-approved 42, self-nominated 1; note - 493 candidates were elected; CPV and non-party CPV-approved delegates were members of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front
Life expectancy at birth total population: 71.07 years

male: 68.27 years

female: 74.08 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 90.3%

male: 93.9%

female: 86.9% (2002 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 territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Merchant marine total: 314 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,739,927 GRT/2,681,003 DWT

by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 26, cargo 238, chemical tanker 7, container 6, liquefied gas 6, petroleum tanker 26, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1

registered in other countries: 33 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Honduras 1, South Korea 1, Liberia 3, Mongolia 14, Panama 10, Tuvalu 3, unknown 2) (2007)
Military branches People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) (includes People's Navy Command (with naval infantry, coast guard), Air and Air Defense Force (Kon Quan Nhan Dan), Border Defense Command), People's Public Security Forces, Militia Force, Self-Defense Forces (2005)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.5% (2005 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 -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Pipelines condensate/gas 432 km; gas 510 km; oil 49 km; refined products 206 km (2007)
Political parties and leaders Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nong Duc MANH]; other parties proscribed
Political pressure groups and leaders groups advocate democracy but are not recognized by government - 8406 Bloc; Democratic Party of Vietnam or DPV; People's Democratic Party Vietnam or PDP-VN; Alliance for Democracy (2006)
Population 85,262,356 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 14.75% (2007 est.)
Population growth rate 1.004% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 65, FM 7, shortwave 29 (1999)
Railways 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 (2006)
Religions Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.077 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.983 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.634 male(s)/female

total population: 0.982 male(s)/female (2007 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; main lines have been substantially increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly

international: country code - 84; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3, the C2C, and Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong submarine cable systems; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable system, scheduled for completion by the end of 2008, will provide new access links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)
Telephones - main lines in use 10.8 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular 33.2 million (2007)
Television broadcast stations 6 (plus 61 provincial TV stations) (2006)
Terrain low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
Total fertility rate 1.89 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 5.1% (2007 est.)
Waterways 17,702 km (5,000 km navigable by vessels up to 1.8 m draft) (2005)
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