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Vietnam Profiles

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Tips:Country ProfileChina-Vietnam RelationshipsVietnam and China, who established formal ties in 1950, have had border differ
 Country Profile

China-Vietnam Relationships

Vietnam and China, who established formal ties in 1950, have had border differences that trace back to the 1950's.since the relation normalization in 1991, the friendship and relations of mutual benefit between the two countries have been developing both in width and depth in all fields bringing about practical benefits to both sides. Until now, the 2 countries have signed 52 agreements at state level, laying legal foundation for long lasting cooperation between the two countries. Both sides have reopened airlines, railways, sea routes and roads, facilitating the transportation of goods and passengers between the two countries. The exchanges of delegations at State and local levels are increasing. Every year, more than 100 delegations at ministerial, departmental, local and grass-root levels of both sides are exchanged. These activities have contributed to enhancing mutual understanding and trust and expanding the bilateral cooperation.

Commercial ties

After both sides resumed trade links in 1991, growth in annual bilateral trade increased from only USD $32 million in 1991 to almost USD $7.2 billion in 2004. By 2011, the trade volume had reached USD $25 billion.

Vietnam's exports to China include crude oil, coal, coffee and food, while China exports pharmaceuticals, machinery, petroleum, fertilizers and automobile parts to Vietnam. China has become Vietnam's second-largest trading partner and the largest source of imports. Both nations are working to establish an "economic corridor" from China's Yunnan Province to Vietnam's northern provinces and cities, and similar economic zones linking China's Guangxi Province with Vietnam's Lang Son and Quang Ninh Provinces, and the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. Air and sea links as well as a railway line have been opened between the two countries, along with national-level seaports in the frontier provinces and regions of the two countries. Joint ventures have furthermore been launched, such as the Thai Nguyen Steel Complex, which produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel products.


Introduction :



though many westerners still imagine Vietnam through the lens of war, it is in reality a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, far from being devastated, continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. Over two decades have passed since Vietnam was officially united, and in that time it has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds. Today, this gracious and graceful country is an outstanding travel destination.


Location, Geography, & Climate


Shaped like an elongated S, Vietnam stretches the length of the Indochinese Peninsula and covers a surface area of 128,000 square miles--making it roughly the size of Italy or, in the U.S., New Mexico. China lies to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the South China Sea to the east.


Topographically, Vietnam is a verdant tapestry of soaring mountains, fertile deltas, primeval forests inhabited by exotic fauna, sinuous rivers, mysterious caves, otherworldly rock formations, and heavenly waterfalls and beaches. Beyond nature, the curious and open-minded visitor will find in Vietnam a feast of culture and history.


For convenience, the country can be thought of as comprising three unique areas: north, central, and south. The north is known for its alpine peaks, the Red River Delta, the plains of Cao Bang and Vinh Yen, enchanting Halong Bay, and historic Hanoi, as well as for the diversity of its ethnolinguistic minorities.


Central Vietnam, also home to many ethnic minorities, is characterized by high temperate plateaus rich in volcanic soil and by spectacular beaches, dunes, and lagoons. It is also the location of the ancient imperial city of Hue. In the South, visitors encounter modern life in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and the fertile alluvial delta of the Mekong River. Vietnam's territory also encompasses a large continental shelf and thousands of archipelagic islands.


Vietnam's climate is as complex as its topography. Although the country lies entirely within the tropics, its diverse range of latitude, altitude, and weather patterns produces enormous climatic variation. North Vietnam, like China, has two basic seasons: a cold, humid winter from November to April, and a warm, wet summer for the remainder of the year. Summer temperatures average around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 22 C), with occasional typhoons to keep things exciting. The northern provinces of Central Vietnam share the climate of the North, while the southern provinces share the tropical weather of the South. South Vietnam is generally warm, the hottest months being March through May, when temperatures rise into the mid-90's (low-30's C). This is also the dry season in the south, followed by the April-October monsoon season.

Geography :



Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia

Geographic coordinates:


16 10 N, 107 50 E

Map references:


Southeast Asia



total: 331,210 sq km

country comparison to the world: 66

land: 310,070 sq km

water: 21,140 sq km

Area - comparative:


slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:


total: 4,639 km

border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km



3,444 km (excludes islands)

Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin



tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)



low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Elevation extremes:


lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m

Natural resources:


phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower

Land use:


arable land: 20.14%

permanent crops: 6.93%

other: 72.93% (2005)

Irrigated land:


46,000 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:


891.2 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 71.39 cu km/yr (8%/24%/68%)

per capita: 847 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:


occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta

Environment - current 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 and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:


extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point



People and Society :



noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)

adjective: Vietnamese

Ethnic groups:


Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, others 5.3% (1999 census)



Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)



Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)



91,519,289 (July 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13



urban population: 30% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population:


Ho Chi Minh City 5.976 million; HANOI (capital) 2.668 million; Haiphong 1.941 million; Da Nang 807,000 (2009)

Health expenditures:


7.2% of GDP (2009)

country comparison to the world: 72

Physicians density:


1.224 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:


2.87 beds/1,000 population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.4% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


280,000 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

HIV/AIDS - deaths:


14,000 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and plague

water contact disease: leptospirosis

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:


0.5% (2000)

country comparison to the world: 70

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:


20.2% (2008)

country comparison to the world: 36

Education expenditures:


5.3% of GDP (2008)

country comparison to the world: 49



definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94%

male: 96.1%

female: 92% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 10 years

male: 11 years

female: 10 years (2001)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:


total: 4.6%

country comparison to the world: 124

male: 4.4%

female: 4.9% (2004)


Government :

Country name:


conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

conventional short form: Vietnam

local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam

local short form: Viet Nam

abbreviation: SRV

Government type:


Communist state



name: Hanoi (Ha Noi)

geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:


58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural)

provinces: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai

municipalities: Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City



2 September 1945 (from France)

National holiday:


Independence Day, 2 September (1945)



15 April 1992

Legal system:


civil law system; note - the civil code of 2005 reflects a European-style civil law

International law organization participation:


has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt



18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:


chief of state: President Truong Tan SANG (since 25 July 2011); Vice President Nguyen Thi DOAN (25 July 2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG (since 27 June 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung HAI (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien NHAN (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van NINH (since 3 August 2011), and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan PHUC (since 3 August 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president based on proposal of prime minister and confirmed by National Assembly

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for five-year term; last election held 25 July 2011 (next to be held in July 2016); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister; appointment of prime minister and deputy prime ministers confirmed by National Assembly

election results: Truong Tan SANG elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 97%; Nguyen Tan DUNG elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - 94%

Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 22 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPV 458, non-party CPV-approved 38, self-nominated 4; note - 500 candidates were elected; the 496 CPV and non-party CPV-approved delegates were members of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and were vetted prior to the election

Judicial branch:


Supreme People's Court (chief justice is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president for a five-year term)

Political parties and leaders:


Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nguyen Phu TRONG]; other parties proscribed

Political pressure groups and leaders:


8406 Bloc; Democratic Party of Vietnam or DPV; People's Democratic Party Vietnam or PDP-VN; Alliance for Democracy

note: these groups advocate democracy but are not recognized by the government

International organization participation:



Flag description:


red field with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center; red symbolizes revolution and blood, the five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace - peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders, and soldiers - that unite to build socialism

National symbol(s):


yellow, five-pointed star on red field


Economy :

Economy - overview:


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, 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 World Trade Organization 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 22% in 2011, while industry's share increased from 36% to 40% 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 2009-11 growing less than the 7% per annum average achieved during the last decade. In 2011, exports increased by more than 33%, year-on-year, and the trade deficit, while reduced from 2010, remained high, prompting the government to maintain administrative trade measures to limit the trade deficit. Vietnam's managed currency, the dong, continues to face downward pressure due to a persistent trade imbalance. Since 2008, the government devalued it in excess of 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 as high as 23% in August 2011 and averaged 18% for the year. In February 2011, Vietnam shifted its focus away from economic growth to stabilizing its economy and tightened fiscal and monetary policies. In early 2012 Vietnam unveiled a broad "three pillar" economic reform program, proposing the restructuring of public investment, state-owned enterprises and the banking sector. Vietnam's economy continues to face challenges from low foreign exchange reserves, an undercapitalized banking sector, and high borrowing costs. The near-bankruptcy and subsequent default of the state-owned-enterprise Vinashin, a leading shipbuilder, led to a ratings downgrade of Vietnam's sovereign debt, exacerbating Vietnam's borrowing difficulties.

GDP (purchasing power parity):


$300 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

$283.3 billion (2010 est.)

$265.3 billion (2009 est.)

note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):


$120.8 billion (2011 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:


5.9% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

6.8% (2010 est.)

5.3% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):


$3,400 (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 166

$3,200 (2010 est.)

$3,000 (2009 est.)

note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 22%

industry: 40.3%

services: 37.7% (2011 est.)

Labor force:


48.23 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 48%

industry: 22.4%

services: 29.6% (2011)

Unemployment rate:


3.6% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

4.3% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line:


14.5% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 30.2% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:


37.6 (2008)

country comparison to the world: 74

36.1 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed):


34.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11



revenues: $34.09 billion

expenditures: $37.24 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:


28.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):


-2.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Public debt:


48.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 63

54.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

note: data cover general government debt, and excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Inflation rate (consumer prices):


18.7% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 214

10% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate:


13% (31 December 2011)

country comparison to the world: 44

7% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:


16.96% (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64

13.14% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money:


$32.64 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

$32.08 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money:


$132 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

$127.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:


$145.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

$138 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:


$26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

$37 billion (31 December 2010)

$35 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products:


paddy rice, coffee, rubber, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood



food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, mobile phones

Industrial production growth rate:


6% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

Current account balance:


$236 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

-$4.276 billion (2010 est.)



$96.91 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 41

$72.24 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities:


clothes, shoes, marine products, crude oil, electronics, wooden products, rice, machinery

Exports - partners:


US 18%, China 11%, Japan 11%, Germany 3.7% (2011 est.)



$97.36 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

$77.37 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles

Imports - partners:


China 22%, South Korea 13.2%, Japan 10.4%, Taiwan 8.6%, Thailand 6.4%, Singapore 6.4% (2011 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$14.05 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

$12.93 billion (2010 est.)

Debt - external:


$39.63 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

$35.14 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$65.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

$57.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$7.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

$5.3 billion (31 December 2008)

Exchange rates:


dong (VND) per US dollar -

20,509.75 (2011 est.)

18,612.92 (2010 est.)

17,799.6 (2009)

16,548.3 (2008)

16,119 (2007)


Energy :

Electricity - production:


106 billion kWh (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Electricity - consumption:


101 billion kWh (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - exports:


373 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66

Electricity - imports:


281 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - installed generating capacity:


15.19 million kW (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Electricity - from fossil fuels:


63.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 135

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:


0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 200

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:


36.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

Electricity - from other renewable sources:


0.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 89

Crude oil - production:


318,100 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Crude oil - exports:


267,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Crude oil - imports:


0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Crude oil - proved reserves:


4.4 billion bbl (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Refined petroleum products - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 207

Refined petroleum products - consumption:


365,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Refined petroleum products - exports:


21,050 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

Refined petroleum products - imports:


227,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - production:


8.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Natural gas - consumption:


9.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 49

Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Natural gas - imports:


1 billion cu m (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - proved reserves:


699.4 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:


112.8 million Mt (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38


Communications :

Telephones - main lines in use:


10.175 million (2011)

country comparison to the world: 21

Telephones - mobile cellular:


127.318 million (2011)

country comparison to the world: 8

Telephone system:


general assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system

domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; main lines have been increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly

international: country code - 84; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3, the C2C, and Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong submarine cable systems; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable system, completed in 2009, provided new access links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)

Broadcast media:

Major newspapers: "People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central,which was founded in 1951,and has three branches in foreign countries;" people's army newspaper"etc., government controls all broadcast media exercising oversight through the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC); government-controlled national TV provider, Vietnam Television (VTV), operates a network of 9 channels with several regional broadcasting centers; programming is relayed nationwide via a network of provincial and municipal TV stations; law limits access to satellite TV but many households are able to access foreign programming via home satellite equipment; government-controlled Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, broadcasts on 6 channels and is repeated on AM, FM, and shortwave stations throughout Vietnam (2008)

Internet country code:



Internet hosts:


189,553 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 74

Internet users:


23.382 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 17


Transportation :



44 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 98

Airports - with paved runways:


total: 37

over 3,047 m: 9

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 3 (2012)



1 (2012)



condensate 28 km; condensate/gas 10 km; gas 216 km; refined products 206 km (2010)



total: 2,632 km

country comparison to the world: 62

standard gauge: 527 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 2,105 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



total: 180,549 km

country comparison to the world: 25

paved: 133,899 km

unpaved: 46,650 km (2008)



17,702 km (5,000 km are navigable by vessels up to 1.8 m draft) (2011)

country comparison to the world: 7

Merchant marine:


total: 579

country comparison to the world: 20

by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 142, cargo 335, chemical tanker 23, container 19, liquefied gas 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1

registered in other countries: 86 (Cambodia 1, Kiribati 2, Mongolia 33, Panama 43, Taiwan 1, Tuvalu 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals:


Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh, Phu My, Quy Nhon

Transportation - note:


the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift.

Military :

Military branches:


People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN; includes People's Navy Command (with Naval Infantry, Coast Guard), Air and Air Defense Force (Khong Quan Nhan Dan), Border Defense Command), People's Public Security Forces, Militia Force, Self-Defense Forces (2010)

Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for male compulsory military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (3 to 4 years in the navy); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defense Forces (2006)

Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 25,649,738

females age 16-49: 24,995,692 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 20,405,847

females age 16-49: 21,098,102 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 847,743

female: 787,341 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:


2.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

country comparison to the world: 59

Keyword: Vietnam Profiles

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