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Overview of Vietnam
2015-08-18 00:00:00

Overview of Vietnam

Updated on Aug,2014


Country nameThe Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Area 329556 sq.km

Population90,000,000estimated Nov,2015

There are 54 ethnic population, 86% of the total population of Kinh. Ethnic population of Tay, Thai, Muong, Hoa, Nung are over 500,000 people. The main language of Vietnam is Vietnamese (official language, common language, the main national language). Major religions: Confucianism; Taoism; Buddhism, Roman Catholicism; Cao Daism.

CapitalHa Noi , area: 3340 sq.km. Population : 692000 peoplein 2012. Average summer temperature : 28.9℃Average winter temperature 18.9℃.

President of VietnamTruong Tan Sang, elected on Jul,25th,2011

Important festivalThe establishment day of Vietnam Communist PartyFeb,3rd ,1930. Vietnam National Day: Sep, 2nd ,1945. Vietnam south Liberation DayApr,30th ,1975. Birthday of Ho Chi Minh leaderMay,19th ,1890.


ProfileMost Vietnamese live in the Red and Mekong River deltas.

Vietnam is long and slender, stretching in an S-shape more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from China in the north to Cambodia in the south. It is only 50 miles (80 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point. River deltas sit at each end of the country, yielding enormous quantities of rice.

Located just north of the equator, Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. In northern Vietnam, the rainy season extends from April to October. In the southern part of Vietnam, the rainy season extends from May to November. Humidity is high throughout the year. Summers are generally hot and wet and winters are mild and dry. The typhoon season extends from July through November, often causing serious damage to crops and people especially along the central coast area.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, commonly known as Vietnam, is located in Southeast Asia. The country's history has been shaped by its location between China and India. Straddling lines of trade between north and south, east and west, Vietnam has been a center of human trade, interaction, and conflict for centuries.

Archaeological excavations reveal that the the Dong-son peole lived in Vietnam around 800 BC . The Dong-son built dikes and canals to control the rivers and irrigate their rice fields, and crafted bronze drums, tools, and weapons.

Aroung 200 BC , a Chinese military commander demanded that the people in Vietnam join China. At that time, Vietnam was called Nam Viet—Nam meaning "south" and Viet referring to the people living along China's southern border.

Nam Viet was ruled by China until AD 900. China's influence on Vietnam could still be seen in 1990s, in ways including ideas about government, philosophy, script, education, religion, crafts, and literature.

In the 1500s and 1600s, Portuguese and French traders came to Vietnam. Some Roman Catholic missionaries converted Vietnamese to Christianity. In the 1800s, the French returned to Vietnam to explore economic and trade opportunities. For the next eighty years, France drained resources from Vietnam, and taxed the people. In the mid-1950s the Vietminh, nationalist communists led by Ho Chi Minh(1890–1969), gained power and forced the French to leave.

In 1955, Vietnam was divided into two countries. The area north of the seventeenth parallel became North Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh and the communists; south of the line lay South Vietnam, run by a pro-Western prime minister, Ngo Dinh Diem. The United States sent advisors and soldiers to help South Vietnam fight communism. This led to years of devastating war.

The war continued until 1973, when the United States Congress ceased military funding for South Vietnam. In 1975, North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam and reunited the country. Almost a million Vietnamese escaped their homeland and were resettled in Western countries. Another million fled Vietnam by sea in 1978. Vietnamese continued to flee their country until the early 1990s.

By the late 1990s, there was an increase in international investment and trade in Vietnam. The government was run by the Communist Party of Vietnam (the country's only political party), and its general secretary, Do Muoi, was the political leader of the country.


Government Symtem

The government symtem was established on Dec,2013. The prime minister: Nguyen Tan Dung,Vice-Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc,Vice-Premier: Hoang Trung Hai,Vice-Premier: Vu Van Ninh, Vice-Premier :Vu Duc Dam, Vice-Premier&Foreign minister : Pham Binh Minh, Defense secretary: Phung Quang Thanh, Minister of public security: Tran Dai Quang, minister of the interior Nguyen Thai Binh, minister of justice: Ha Hung Cuong, Minister of planning and investment: Bui Quang Vinh, finance minister Dinh Tien Dung, Minister of trade and Industry:Vu Huy Hoang, Minister for agriculture and rural development : Cao Duc Phat, Minister of transport: Dinh La Thang, Minister of construction: Trinh Dinh Dung, Minister of resources and environment :Nguyen Minh Quang, Minister of communications media:Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of society: Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Minister of culture and sports tourism:HoangTuanAnh, Minister of science and technology Nguyen Quan, Minister for education and training Pham Vu Luan, ministry of health: Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Director of the National Committee Giang Seo Phu.

Administrative area

The country is divided into 58 provinces and 5 municipalities directly under the central government.

Important person

Nguyễn Phú Trọng (born 14 April 1944) is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, elected at the party's 11th National Congress on 19 January 2011. Trong heads the party'sSecretariat, as well as the Central Military Commission,  the country's two most powerful policymaking bodies.

Trọng was born in Đông Hội Commune, Đông Anh District, Hanoi. His official biography gives his family background only as "poor peasant". He studied philology at Vietnam National University, Hanoifrom 1963 to 1967. Trọng officially joined the Communist Party in December 1968. He worked for the Tạp chí Cộng Sản (Communist Review), the theoretical and political agency of the Communist Party of Vietnam (formerly the "Labor Party"), in the periods of 1967-73, 1976–80, and 1983–96. From 1991 to 1996, he served as the editor-in-chief of the Tạp chí Cộng Sản.

He went to the Soviet UNI0N in 1981 to study at the USSR Academy of Social Sciences and received a Candidate of Sciences degree in history in 1983. In 1998, Trọng entered in the party section devoted to political work, and he is one of the most prominent Vietnamese political theoreticians, heading the CPVCC's Theoretical Council in charge of the Party's theoretical work from 2001 to 2006

Trọng has been member of the Party's Central Committee since January 1994, member of the Party's Political Bureau since December 1997, and deputy to the National Assembly since May 2002. From January 2000 to June 2006, Trọng was secretary of the Party's Executive Committee of Hanoi, the de facto head of the city authority. On 26 June 2006, Trọng was elected as the Chairman of the National Assembly. During this period he was elected secretary of the Party organization in the Assembly and member of the Council for Defence and Security. A party congress in January 2011 selected Trong as general secretary. This congress also selected a Politburo, or executive committee, and Trong is listed as its No. 8 member.

The 5th plenum of the 11th Central Committee decided to take the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption away from the prime minister’s control, and Nguyễn Phú Trọng was elected its head.

Trương Tấn Sang (born 21 January 1949) is the presidentof Vietnam and one of the country's top leaders, alongside prime minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng and Party general secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng. He became state president following a vote of the National Assembly in July 2011. The office is a ceremonial position, but Sang is also ranked second after General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng on the party's Central Secretariat, a body which directs policy making. Sang has been a member of the Central Politburo, the executive committee of the Communist Party, since 1996. He was party secretary for Ho Chi Minh City from 1996 to 2000. He was promoted to the national party’s number two slot in October 2009. There are reports of rivalry between Sang and Prime Minister Dũng, and each is backed by a faction within the party.

He joined the Communist Party on 20 December 1969. He was jailed by the South Vietnamese government in 1971 and held in prison at Phú Quốc. He was released under the Paris Peace Treaty in 1973. He received his bachelor of law degree in 1990 from the National Academy of Public Administration.

From 1983–86, he headed Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)'s Forestry Department, as well as the city's New Economic Zone Development Department. In 1986, he was promoted to the Standing Board of the city's Party Committee. He became a member of the national party's Central Committee in 1991. In 1992, he became chairman for HCMC, the number two position in the city government. He joined the Politburo in 1996 as its 14th ranking member. He was party secretary for HCMC, the top position in the city government, from 1996 to 2000. He was promoted to 10th position in the national party at a congress in April 2001. He was also appointed head of the party’s economic commission at this time.

In 2003, he was reprimanded for failing to act in the Năm Cam corruption scandal when he headed the city government.[8] Sang was promoted to fifth position in the party at a congress in April 2006. At this congress, he was also appointed executive secretary of the party's Secretariat, a position which supervises the membership and the internal structure of the party.


Nguyễn Tấn Dũng is the Prime Minister of Vietnam. He was confirmed by the National Assembly on 27 June 2006, having been nominated by his predecessor, Phan Văn Khải, who retired from office. Since a party congress in January 2011, Dũng has been ranked third in the hierarchy of the Communist Party of Vietnam, after State PresidentTrương Tấn Sang and Defense Minister Phùng Quang Thanh.

Dũng was born in Cà Mau in southern Vietnam. He purportedly volunteered on his 12th birthday to join the Vietcong, doing first-aid, and communication tasks; he also worked as a nurse, and a physician. He was wounded four times during the Vietnam War, and was later ranked as a level 2/4 wounded veteran. As a Senior Lieutenant he was Chief Political Commissar of Infantry Battalion 207; as a Captain, he was Political Chief of Infantry Regiment 152, defending the southwestern border. As Major, Dũng headed the Personnel Board of Kien Giang Province's Military Command.

He attended the high-level Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on 10 June 1967.

Dũng was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on 10 June 1967.

He was a protégé of conservative Đức Anh and reformist Võ Văn Kiệt, leaders from both major factions in the party, which enabled him to become the youngest member of the Politburo in 1996.

Dũng previously served as first deputy prime minister from 29 September 1997. He was also the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam between 1998 and 1999.

Dũng is the first senior Vietnamese communist leader born after the August Revolution in 1945 and the youngest Vietnamese prime minister (56 years old when he assumed the office). He is also a native southerner and remained in the southern region throughout the Vietnam War (he was only 5 when the country was divided in 1954). He was reelected to the post of prime minister on 25 July 2007.

In August 2007, it was reported that Dũng displayed "remarkable enthusiasm for the Internet". The government had set up a form through which corrupt officials could be reported online. He held an online chat that was viewed by over 1,000,000 people where he answered some screened questions regarding thing from government control of the media to personal career tips. One youth asked how he could be Prime Minister someday, to which Dũng replied: "Throughout my time following the Party and the Revolution, I always obeyed the assignments of the organization.

It was reported that Vietnam's post-war generation "is increasingly wired, as the Communist Party attempts to foster economic growth and high-tech skills". The government blocks politically oriented sites and pornography. There has also been talk of censoring blogs; it was noted that there is a fake Dũng blog on which the language "mimics official jargon, but is subtly peppered with anti-communist barbs.

On 26 July 2011, Dũng was officially re-elected prime minister by the 13th National Assembly, winning 470 out of 500 votes. He lost out to Trương Tấn Sang in the competition to lead the party's Politburo, or executive committee.

In October 2011, it was reported that political dissidents in Vietnam were "facing a growing crackdown on their activities ... since the Communist party congress in January, the authorities have steadily ratcheted up the pressure on dissidents." Since 30 July, 15 religious activists had been imprisoned. One lawyer with deep family connections to the Communist party was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment "to the shock and outrage of large sections of the Vietnamese public." A Human Rights Watch report also detailed forced labour and torture throughout the country's drug rehabilitation centres. Australian Vietnam expert Carlyle Thayer said "Nguyen Tan Dung ... is decidedly not a reformer." Although the U.S. and India are developing closer ties to Vietnam, neither "has seen fit to pressure Vietnam on its rights record with any conviction or consistency."

In August 2012, the arrest of Nguyen Duc Kien, a local tycoon thought to be close to Dũng, sparked discussions about Dung's ongoing political battle with President Trương Tấn Sang. Following these discussions, much of the anger about nepotism and poor economic management has been directed at Dung.

At Central Committee meeting in October 2012, general secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the head of the Communist Party announced Politburo agreed to propose the committee impose a form of discipline on it and consider discipline on a Politburo member (is thought Nguyễn Tấn Dũng), but the Central Committee decided to not take any discipline on the Politburo and one of its members – from the prime minister's mistakes in economic management issues, anti-corruption ... Earlier the Central Committee decided to take the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption away from Dũng's control, and the committee is now controlled by the Politburo and the general secretary is chief of committee.

On 14 November 2012 Dũng was told by a parliament member, Duong Trung Quoc, to resign for his mistakes in handling the economy. He said that it was time for the prime minister to take responsibility, not just apologise. The attack was unusual because it was made in front of TV cameras in parliament.

Economic of Vietnam

Until French colonization in the mid-19th century, Vietnam's economy was mainly agrarian and village-oriented. French colonizers, however, deliberately developed the regions differently, designating the South for agricultural production and the North for manufacturing. Though the plan exaggerated regional divisions, the development of exports--coal from the North, rice from the South—and the importation of French manufactured goods stimulated internal commerce.[1]

When the North and South were divided politically in 1954, they also adopted different economic ideologies: communist in the North and capitalist in the South. Destruction caused by the 1954-75 Second Indochina War (commonly known as the Vietnam War) seriously strained Vietnam's economy. Across Vietnam, the situation was worsened by the country's 3 million military and civilian deaths and its later exodus of 2 million refugees, including tens of thousands of professionals, intellectuals, technicians, and skilled workers.

Between 1976 and 1986,for annual growth rates for industry, agriculture, and national income and aimed to integrate the North and the South, the Plan's aims were not achieved: the economy remained dominated by small-scale production, lowlabor productivity, unemployment, material and technological shortfalls, and insufficient food and consumer goods. The more modest goals of the Third Five-Year Plan (1981–85) were a compromise between ideological and pragmatic factions; they emphasized the development of agriculture and industry. Efforts were also made to decentralize planning and improve the managerial skills of government officials.

In 1986 Vietnam launched a political and economic renewal campaign (Doi Moi) that introduced reforms intended to facilitate the transition from a centrally planned economy to form of market socialism officially termed "Socialist-oriented market economy." Doi Moi combined economic planning with free-market incentives and encouraged the establishment of private businesses in the production of consumer goods and foreign investment, including foreign-owned enterprises. By the late 1990s, the success of the business and agricultural reforms ushered in under Doi Moi was evident. More than 30,000 private businesses had been created, and the economy was growing at an annual rate of more than 7 percent, and povertywas nearly halved.

In 2001 the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) approved a 10-year economic plan that enhanced the role of the private sector while reaffirming the primacy of the state sector in the economy. In 2003 the private sector accounted for more than one-quarter of all industrial output. However, between 2003 and 2005 Vietnam fell dramatically in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report rankings, largely due to negative perceptions of the effectiveness of government institutions. Official corruption is endemic, and Vietnam lags in property rights, the efficient regulation of markets, and labor and financial market reforms. Although Vietnam's economy, which continues to expand at an annual rate in excess of 7 percent, is one of the fastest growing in the world, the economy is growing from an extremely low base, reflecting the crippling effect of the Second Indochina War (1954–75) and repressive economic measures introduced in its aftermath.

The main economic data is as follows

GDP170 billionUSD

GDP rate5.4%

gross domestic product per capita1960USD

Currency nameVietnam DongVND

Exchange rate1USD≈22035VNDAug,2015

Consumer goods price index4.77%First half of 2014

ResourcesVietnam is rich of mineral resources. Include: phosphatecoalbauxite, base and precious metals, and a variety of industrial minerals. More than 5,000 mineral occurrences have been identified. Five broadly-defined metallogenic epochs have been recognised and, in general, the younger the setting the more abundant the deposits. Only a few are hosted by Precambrian rocks, principally irongold and graphite. The early to mid-Palaeozoic contains small deposits of iron ore, leadzinc and large deposits of potash. Larger deposits of iron ore, ilmenite, gold, nickelcopper and bauxite were formed during the early Carboniferous/late Triassic.

IndustryFirst half of 2014Vietnam's industrial index rose 5.8%. Major industrial products are coal, oil, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, aquatic products, etc.

AgriculturalIn 2004, agriculture and forestry accounted for 21.8 percent of Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP), and between 1994 and 2004, the sector grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. Agriculture's share of economic output has declined in recent years, falling as a share of GDP from 42% in 1989 to 26% in 1999, as production in other sectors of the economy has risen. However, agricultural employment was much higher than agriculture’s share of GDP; in 2005, approximately 60 percent of the employed labor force was engaged in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. Agricultural products accounted for 30 percent of exports in 2005. The relaxation of the state monopoly on rice exports transformed the country into the world’s second or third largest rice exporter. Other cash crops are coffeecotton,peanutsrubbersugarcane, and tea.

TourismTourism is important in Vietnam. Vietnam has become a new tourist destination in Southeast Asia. Local and international tour operators offer tours to ethnic minority groups, walking and bicycle tours, kayak trips and multi-country trips in particular with neighboring CambodiaLaos and Thailand. Foreign tourists have been able to travel freely in the country since 1997.

The economy of Vietnam has transformed from an agrarian to a service economy. More than a third of gross domestic product is generated by services, which include the hotel and catering industry and transportation. The manufacturing and construction (28 percent), agriculture and fisheries (20 percent) and mining (10 percent) have much smaller shares.[5]

Tourism contributes 4.5 percent to gross domestic product (as of 2007). After the heavy industry and urban development, most foreign investment has been concentrated in tourism, especially in hotel projects .

Vietnam now has 21 national tourist areas, major tourist sites that are state recognized:

Sa Pa (Lào Cai), Ba Bể (Bắc Kạn), Hạ Long Bay – Cát Bà Island (Quảng NinhHai Phong), Ba Vì National Park (Hanoi), Perfume Pagoda (Hanoi), Cổ Loa Citadel (Hanoi), Tam Cốc-Bích Động (Ninh Bình), Kim Liên(Nghệ An), Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park (Quảng Bình), Ho Chi Minh trail (Quảng Trị), Lăng Cô – Hải Vân Pass – Non Nuoc (Thừa Thiên–Huế and Da Nang), Hội An (Quảng Nam), Van Phong Bay (Khánh Hòa),Phan Thiết – Mũi Né (Bình Thuận), Dankia – Yellow Springs, Lake Tuyen Lam (Lâm Đồng), For Hours (Ho Chi Minh City), Côn Đảo (Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu), Long Hai beach (Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu), Phú Quốc (Kiên Giang),Biosphere Reserve Cape Cà Mau (Cà Mau).

LogisticsIn recent years, Vietnam's transportation industry has been reorganized to improve the service quality, and achieved good economic benefits.

Finance2013 the basic completion of the financial revenue and expenditure in vietnam. In 2013 the total fiscal revenue 790.8 trillion vnd, total expenditure of 986.2 trillion vnd.

Vietnam's main trade targets for China, the United States, the European UNI0N, ASEAN, Japan, South korea. Major export products: Crude oil, clothing textiles, aquatic products, footwear, rice, wood, electronic products, coffee. The main export markets are the EU, the United States, ASEAN, Japan, china, which main imported products are: automotive, mechanical equipment and parts, refined oil, steel, textile raw materials, electronic products and parts

Foreign capital

Foreign investment are entering VN, Which advanced production technology and management experience, promote economic development, solve the problem of employment


Education in Vietnam is divided into five levels: preschool, primary school, secondary school, high school and higher education. Formal education consists of twelve years of basic education. Basic education consists of five years of primary education, four years of intermediate education, and three years of secondary education. The majority of basic education students are enrolled on a half-day basis.

The main educational goal in Vietnam is improving people’s general knowledge, training quality human resources and nurturing and fostering talent. With one of the highest GDP growth rates in Asia,] Vietnam is currently trying to overhaul its education system, with the importance of internationalizing the education system to maintain the rapid economic growth of the last two decades.

Regarding ownership, as prescribed in Article 44 of Vietnam’s Education Law, there are four types of educational establishments:

Public education establishments: established and monitored by the State. The State also nominates their administrators and decides staff quota. The State invests in infrastructure and allocates funding for their regular spending tasks.

Semi-public educational establishments: set up by the State on the basis of mobilizing organizations and individuals in the society to jointly invest in infrastructure.

People-founded educational establishments: Social or economic organizations apply for permission from the State to set up an institution with non-State budget capital.

Private educational establishments: Individuals or groups of individuals apply for permission from the State to set up and invest in the institution by themselves.

The semi-public, people-founded and private educational establishments are referred collectively to as non-public educational establishments.

News Agency

Vietnam legal newspaper publishments were controlled by Vietnam government. A total of 450 center and local news agency uints . The main publishment of news have : political news, culture news, literature news, technology news, education news, world news.

The VNA is a media complex consisting of 32 affiliates, including news units (five editorial departments and two source news centres), various publication and press bodies (one publishing house and nine newspapers), and multi-media units (a television channel and e-portal), together with five news support centres and two printing, trade and services companies.

Boasting a network of 63 bureaus in all the cities and provinces nationwide and 30 overseas bureaus across the five continents, the VNA has a strong contingent of reporters and editors working all over the country and in most of the key locations around the world, which is its unique advantage.

With more than 60 media products by more than 1,000 reporters and editors out of its 2,400-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office having the largest number of products and forms in the country: bulletins, photos, television programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, TV channel, e-newspapers and information programmes on mobile platforms.

The agency also delivers news in the largest number of languages. In addition to official Vietnamese-language news provided for domestic and foreign media outlets, stories for foreign service are written in English, Chinese, French and Spanish, not to mention print and e-newspapers in four other foreign languages, namely Lao, Korean, Japanese and Russian. That’s why the VNA is now regarded as the most important Vietnamese external news centre.

On September 15, 1945, less than two weeks after President Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, the full text of the document and a list of the members of provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam were published in Vietnamese, English and French and circulated worldwide from the Bach Mai wireless transmission station, under the initials VNTTX (representing the Vietnamese name ‘Viet Nam Thong Tan Xa’), VNA (Vietnam News Agency) and AVI (Agence Vietnammien D’Information), informing the world of the birth of the new Vietnam.

The first Vietnamese-language radio transmission was made on September 2, 1945, when Ho Chi Minh read out the Declaration of Independence.

Prior to 1945, Vietnamese people were banned from owning radio receivers, and broadcasting was under control of the French colonial government, which established the first radio station in Vietnam, Radio Saigon, in the late 1920s.

Vietnam's national radio station, now called the Voice of Vietnam, started broadcasting from Hanoi the just a week after declaration of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. During the Vietnam WarRadio Hanoi operated as a propaganda tool of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam.

South Vietnam set up its own network in Saigon in 1955.

Following Reunification, all of the radio stations were combined into the Voice of Vietnam, which became the national radio station in 1978.Overseas broadcast has Chinese( madanrin & Cantonese) Russian, English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Thai, Lao, Kampuchea, Indonesian, Malay etc..

Department of external relations Vietnam

In 2014, Vietnam actively carried out foreign exchanges. With the rapid development of the relationship between the United States and the expansion of cooperation with the European UNI0N,Japan, Russia and other countries in the region, made a good relationship with the ASEAN member countries to strengthen cooperation and multilateral diplomacy. Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 180 countries, and the establishment of cooperative relations with 20 international organizations and more than 480 non-governmental organizations.





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