Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:19 GMT+7

Vietnam - A country overview

Some figures about the country to give you a rough idea about Vietnam. There are other facts to be found, but here are the basics.

Vietnam in the Region
Official name: The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Capital: Ha Noi
Mainland area: 331,689 sq. km (128,000 square miles)
Major cities: Hochiminh City, Haiphong, Danang and Hue.
Official language: Vietnamese
Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
President: Nguyen Minh Triet
Prime Minister: Nguyen Tan Dung
Chairman of National Assembly: Nguyen Phu Trong

Did you know?
  • Vietnam is absolutely one of the world’ most successful countries in terms of sustainable rapid economic growth over the recent 10-year period, second only to China.
  • In May 2002, international credit ratings agency - Standard & Poor’s awarded Vietnam with a long-term foreign currency debt rating of BB minus and local currency long-term debt rating of BB, both with a stable outlook.
  • Vietnam has emerged as the world third largest exporter of rice, second largest exporter of coffee, cashew and pepper, fourth biggest exporter of footwear. The country is also a leading exporter of apparel and textiles, and seafood.
  • Vietnam is considered the safest country in which to do business and travel in Asia-Pacific, according to a poll of over 400 business executives conducted by the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. following the Bali bombing in October 2002.
  • Vietnam is the second best investment destination among ten ASEAN countries for Japanese investors, according to a survey conducted in early 2002 by the Japanese External Trade Organization.
  • The recent survey of 178 small and medium Korean companies showed that Vietnam is chosen as the second best destination for Korean foreign investment.
  • Vietnam, the 13th most populous country in the world, has a large market of 80 million people with an abundance of young and a highly literate workforce of over 40 million people of whom around 45% are under 35 years of age.
  • Vietnam is a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), the Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and the ASEAN - Europe Meeting (ASEM); has signed a trade agreement with the United States; and is negotiating for accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Vietnam, thanks to its stability, is a favored recipient of bilateral and multilateral development aid. During the 1996 - 2002 period, the international community committed to provide Vietnam with Official Development Aid (ODA) in an amount of around US$22 billion.
  • Vietnam has a relatively extensive network of roads, exceeding Malaysia’s and Thailand’s.
  • Most visitors to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country’s natural setting. Its 3,451 km coastline includes countless unspoiled beaches and a number of stunning lagoons.
  • The book, “Searching for the Perfect Meal,” concludes that Vietnam has the most delicious food, per square meter, in the world.
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