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Vietnam Main Page

 

Vietnam's Economy


Until recently, most of Vietnam's economy was based on it's agriculture, mainly it's rice.  Even during French colonial rule, agriculture was important, although other crops were added for export such as coffee, tea, and rubber, among other things.  It wasn't until 1954 when Vietnam was divided that the national economy was actively developed, for each government of course.  The Communist North was a very centralized planned economy, while the South was pretty much a free-market economy with little government involvement.  

When Vietnam was reunited in 1976, the North began expanding it's plan throughout the country.  After they redeveloped their economic plan in 1986 to support a mixed economy (one that can function privately or with state control), 

 

Vietnam's economy has taken off.  During the 1990's, their economy increased on average 8.6 percent a year and in spite of such economic growth, Vietnam's per capita income hasn't taken off but has remained at an annual low of $320.  Vietnam realizes that it cannot do it on its own, it needs outside backing and investments to further advance in today's society.  Industrialization is extremely important as is training and knowledge of various basic areas in modern society - banking knowledge, technology, and science to name a few.  


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. 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. WTO membership has provided Vietnam an anchor to the global market and reinforced the domestic economic reform process. Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink from about 25% in 2000 to about 21% in 2009. 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 growing less than the 7% per annum average achieved during the last decade. In 2009 exports fell nearly 10% year-on-year, prompting the government to consider adjustments to tariffs to limit the trade deficit. The government has used stimulus spending, including a subsidized lending program, to help the economy through the global financial crisis. Vietnam's managed currency, the dong, faced downward pressure during the recession and the government devalued it by nearly 7% in December 2009. Foreign donors pledged $8 billion in new development assistance for 2010. Export growth resumed in 2010, driving GDP upward. However, Hanoi has struggled to control one of the region's highest inflation rates, which stands at 11.1% with interest hikes and multiple devaluations of the dong. Vietnam's economy faces higher lending rates, additional IMF scrutiny, domestic inflationary pressures, and an underperforming stock market.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$278.1 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
$260.3 billion (2009 est.)
$247.2 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$102 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
5.3% (2009 est.)
6.3% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$2,900 (2009 est.)
$2,800 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20.5%
industry: 40.2%
services: 39.2% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
47.49 million (April 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 51.8%
industry: 15.4%
services: 32.7% (April 2009)
Unemployment rate:
6.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
6.5% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line:
12.3% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29.8% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 78
36.1 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed):
35.1% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
Budget:
revenues: $26.52 billion
expenditures: $33.39 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
53.5% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
52.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
7% (2009 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 43
10.25% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15.78% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
11.18% (31 December 2007)
Stock of narrow money:
$33.76 billion (31 December 2010 est)
$31.75 billion (31 December 2009 est)
Stock of broad money:
$118.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$107.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$132.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
$114.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$21.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$9.589 billion (31 December 2008)
$19.54 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood
Industries:
food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper
Industrial production growth rate:
7.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Electricity - production:
86.9 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
Electricity - consumption:
74.5 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Electricity - exports:
535 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports:
3.85 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Oil - production:
338,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Oil - consumption:
302,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
Oil - exports:
29,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Oil - imports:
134,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
Oil - proved reserves:
4.7 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Natural gas - production:
7.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
Natural gas - consumption:
8.1 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Natural gas - imports:
380,000 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Natural gas - proved reserves:
610 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
Current account balance:
-$9.622 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
-$7.44 billion (2009 est.)
Exports:
$70.76 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$57.1 billion (2009 est.)
Exports - commodities:
crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Exports - partners:
US 21.43%, Japan 11.44%, China 7.27%, Australia 4.43%, Germany 4.27% (2009)
Imports:
$81.73 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$65.4 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles
Imports - partners:
China 16.42%, Singapore 9.61%, Japan 8.96%, Taiwan 8.23%, South Korea 7.72%, Thailand 6.41%, Hong Kong 4.45%, US 4.27% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$16.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
$16.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:
$33.45 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$27.84 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$59.52 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
$49.92 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$7.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$NA (31 December 2008)
Exchange rates:
dong (VND) per US dollar - 19,148.9 (2010), 17,799.6 (2009), 16,548.3 (2008), 16,119 (2007), 15,983 (2006)


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