About Vietnam

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, founded in 1945 and reunified in 1975, is the third most populous nation in Southeast Asia and the fourteenth most populous nation worldwide. Although the nation has seen a large population shift since the establishment of its ‘open door’ policy, 70 percent of the country remains in rural areas. The three largest cities – Hanoi (the capital), Ho Chi Minh City, and Haiphong – comprise just ten percent of the population.

The country’s executive includes a head of government (Prime Minister), head of state (President), and cabinet, which is responsible to the country’s legislature, the National Assembly. The judiciary is comprised of Provincial and Municipal People’s Courts, or the courts of first and second instance, as well as regional and Central Supreme People’s Courts. Vietnam operates under a civil law system, as based on the framework provided by the 1992 Constitution. The predominant political party is the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Vietnam has seen tremendous growth since the start of the ‘open door’ or ‘renovation’ policies in 1986. Challenges remain, however, as the country struggles with a growing trade deficit, high inflation and a declining FDI. In 2010, the nation saw 6.8 percent GDP growth, to $276 billion GDP nationwide or $3100 per capita. Such growth is predicted to drop below six percent for this year, in the face of double-digit inflation and credit growth. In spite of economic indicators, interest in Vietnam’s exports has shown little decline. The country maintains export growth in various industries, including garments, crude oil, seafood, and rice.