Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Flag of Vietnam Emblem of Vietnam
Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Tiến Quân Ca
Army March
Map of Vietnam
RegionSoutheast Asia
Government Socialist republic
General Secretary
- From 2011Nguyễn Phú Trọng
- From 2006Nguyễn Minh Triết
Prime Minister
- From 2006Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Legislature National Assembly
April 30, 1975Reunification
April 15, 1992Current constitution
Area331,698 km²
- 201190,549,390
GDP2011 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 281 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 3,104.179
Flag of Vietnam North Vietnam
Flag of South Vietnam South Vietnam

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a socialist single-party state in Southeast Asia.


The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. 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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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 reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups, the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.[1]


Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that in the last 30 years has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy. While Vietnam's economy remains dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which still produce about 40% of GDP, Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic liberalization and international integration. They have moved to implement the structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive export-driven industries. Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 following more than a decade-long negotiation process. Vietnam became an official negotiating partner in the developing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in 2010. Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink from about 25% in 2000 to about 20% in 2010, while industry's share increased from 36% to 41% in the same period. Deep poverty has declined significantly and Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one million people every year. The global recession has hurt Vietnam's export-oriented economy, with GDP in 2009-10 growing less than the 7% per annum average achieved during the last decade. In 2010, exports increased by more than 25%, year-on-year, but the trade deficit remained high, prompting the government to consider administrative measures to limit the trade deficit. Vietnam's managed currency, the dong, continues to face downward pressure due to a persistent trade imbalance, and, since 2008, the government devalued it by 20% through a series of small devaluations. Foreign donors pledged nearly $8 billion in new development assistance for 2011. However, the government's strong growth-oriented economic policies have caused it to struggle to control one of the region's highest inflation rates, which reached 11.8% in 2010. Vietnam's economy also faces challenges from falling foreign exchange reserves, an undercapitalized banking sector, and high borrowing costs. The near-bankruptcy and subsequent default of the SOE Vinashin, a leading shipbuilder, led to a ratings downgrade of Vietnam's sovereign debt, exacerbating Vietnam's borrowing difficulties.[2]

General Secretary

  • Nguyễn Phú Trọng () (January 19, 2011 - )


  • Nguyễn Minh Triết () (June 27, 2006 - )

Prime Minister

  • Nguyễn Tấn Dũng () (June 27, 2006 - )


Vietnamese Polities

Neighbouring Nations


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview