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General Information:

Full name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Population: 97,191,834 (est. 2019 based on UN estimate)

Capital city: Hanoi

Major religions: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity

Political system: One-party communist state

Language: The official state language of Vietnam is Vietnamese. Other minority languages include Chinese, H’Mong, Nung, and Khmer. Sign language has also developed in the larger cities.

Time Zone: UTC+7 (South East Asia time)

International dialing code: +84

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND) GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate: $240 billion


Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and shares borders with China, Laos, and Cambodia. The country’s mountainous land, forests, and wetland are surrounded by the South China Sea to the east and south. With a population of over 93 million people the county is divided into 58 provinces and 5 municipalities. The municipals include: Hanoi (the capital), Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong.


Vietnam is a developing success story. Political and economic reforms have transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world, with per capita income around $100 to around $2,100 by the end of 2015. Vietnam’s per capita GDP growth since 1990 has been among the fastest in the world, averaging 5.5 percent a year since 1990, and 6.4 percent per year in the 2000s. Vietnam’s economy continued to strengthen in 2015, with estimated GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent for the whole year. Incomes are higher and the Vietnamese population is better educated and has a higher life expectancy than most countries with a similar per capita income. Vietnam’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020) gives attention to structural reforms, environmental sustainability, social equity, and emerging issues of macroeconomic stability. It defines three "breakthrough areas": promoting human resources/skills development, improving market institutions, and infrastructure development. Through all its economic success historians remain optimistic that the nation will continue its socio-economic development in a climate of political peace.

(Source: World Bank Country Overview: Vietnam) 


Vietnam is a socialist country under the leadership of the Vietnam Communist Party. The Party holds a national congress every five years to outline the country's overall direction and future course as well as to formalize policies. The National Assembly, which includes 498 members and is open to non-Party members, is the supreme organ of state and the only body with constitutional and legislative power. The President of the State and the Prime Minister are elected by the National Assembly. The President has the right to nominate candidates for a number of key positions including the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court and the General of the People's Office of Supervision and Control. Nominees are then approved by the National Assembly. The Prime Minister, who is charged with the day to day handling of the Government, has the right to nominate and dismiss the members of his cabinet with the approval of the National Assembly. He also has the power to cancel or suspend decisions or directives issued by the ministries.

Current President: Nguyễn Phú Trọng

Current Prime Minister: Nguyễn Xuân Phúc


Vietnam is located in both a tropical and a temperate zone. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. There is no one ideal time to visit Vietnam as a whole but at any time of year there will be sun somewhere. The high season is from September to March but bad weather can disrupt from September to December. For the beaches in the center of Vietnam, Danang, Hoi An and Nha Trang, it is best to go between May and August.

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