Southeast Asia: Vietnam

About Vietnam

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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Hanoi
Population: 79,939,014 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 37% (1998 est.)
Language: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Date of independence: 2 September 1945 (from France)
Form of government: Communist state
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
Environmental 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 an
Agricultural Products: paddy rice, corn, potatoes, rubber, soybeans, coffee, tea, bananas, sugar; poultry, pigs; fish
Imports: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles
Exports: crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, US, Sweden
EXPORTS: China, Japan, Germany, Australia, US, France, Singapore, UK, Taiwan


Vietnam Headlines


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