Viet Nam country profile
Viet Nam has one of South-East Asia's fastest-growing economies and has set its sights on becoming a developed nation by 2020.
- Population: 88.069 million (2009)
- Capital: Hanoi
- Major language: Vietnamese
- Major Religion: Buddhism
- Life expectancy at birth (2009): 72 years - Men: 70 years; Women: 74 years
- Adult literacy rate (2008) - total : 92.5%
- Main exports (2005): crude oil (23%), garments and textiles (15%), sea products (8%), footwear (9%), rice (4%), coffee (2%), others (39%)
- Gross national income per capita (PPP international $) (2009) : US$ 2.700
- Human development index (Ranking out of 187 countries, 2011): 128
- Secretary-General of the Communist Party: Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong
- Viet Nam is officially a Socialist State with a political system dominated by the Communist Party.
- President: Mr. Truong Tan Sang
- Parliament confirmed Mr. Truong Tan Sang as President in July 2011.
- The Communist Party leadership recommends candidates for the posts of President and Prime Minister.
- Prime Minister: Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung
- Health Minister: Dr. Nguyen Thi Kim Tien
- Foreign Minister: Mr. Pham Binh Minh
- Defense Minister: Mr. Phung Quang Thanh
- Finance Minister: Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue
Viet Nam has a powerful radio, television and print media network. Television is the dominant medium, with Viet Nam Television (VTV) broadcasts also available via satellite to the wider region. There are many provincial stations; some foreign channels are carried via cable.
State-run Voice of Viet Nam (VoV) operates national radio networks, including the VoV 5 channel with programmes in English, French and Russian.
This elongated “S”-shaped country has 3,000 km of coastline facing the South China Sea and borders China, Laos and Cambodia. There are 64 cities and provinces. In the south, the Mekong River is a prominent feature. Much of the country is mountainous and hilly.
Viet Nam falls in both a temperate and tropical zone, so its climate is diverse. It is mostly humid, with plenty of sun and rain. The mountainous areas are more temperate in climate. The southern area is more tropical, with a rainy season from May to October, followed by many months of hot and dry weather. Random violent typhoons have hit the central and northern coasts in the past few years.
The Doi moi (reforms), launched in 1986, put Viet Nam on the path to transforming itself from a state-controlled economy to a market economy. It is generally accepted that this process helped improve the wellbeing of Vietnamese people, with substantial poverty reduction and annual GDP per capita growth averaging more than 7.5% since 2001. Inequalities (including health disparities) between urban and rural, between rich and poor, and between geographical areas continue to grow. The country’s further integration into the world economy in 2006 through World Trade Organization (WTO) access will provide opportunities and challenges for many sectors, including the health sector. If the country's economic growth rate continues, Viet Nam is expected to reach middle income status by 2010-2012. This change in status is likely to affect bilateral partner support.