• Vietnam - A country overview

    4/22/2008 1:14:00 AM

    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.

    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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