Vietnam Country Guide

A country in Southeast Asia, Vietnam occupies an extensive coastal strip in the eastern sector of the Indochina peninsula. The population belongs to the Vietnam ethnic group , with minorities Tai, Khmer, Muong, Nung and Meo.


Rice, corn, potatoes and cassava are grown, among other products. There are large herds of cattle, pigs and buffalo.

Its mineral resources include coal, phosphates, salt, zinc and, to a lesser extent, gold, molybdenum, iron and tin.

In the industry, the steel and metallurgical, chemical, textile, cement, beer, tobacco and sugar production sectors and mechanical production stand out.

History of Vietnam

Vietnam’s first civilizations emerged in the Red River delta in the Neolithic era. In 208 BC, the Nam-Viêt kingdom was formed in Tonkin, which in 111 BC was conquered and integrated into China. In Annam and Conchinchina, the Shampa civilization was born. Chinese domination was rejected in 939 by Ngo Quyên, creator of the Ngo dynasty, succeeded by the Dai-Viêt kingdom, ruled by the Le (until 1009) and Li (until 1225) dynasties.

At the beginning of the 15th century, the country was again conquered by China, but in 1428 Lê Loi regained independence and established the second Lê dynasty (until the 18th century). In 1859, France imposed its protectorate. The nationalist sentiment was strengthened in 1927, with the creation of the Nationalist Party, which in 1930, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, assumed the communist ideology.

During World War II, Indochina was occupied by the Japanese. After Japan’s defeat at the end of the war in 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. But the French attempt to recover the region triggered the first Indochina war (1946-1954).

The defeat of the French troops (1954) forced Paris to accept the Geneva Accords, which recognized the independence of Vietnam, whose territory was divided by the parallel 17.

To the north came the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with economic and military support from the USSR and China. In the south, the Republic of Vietnam, supported by the United States, was created. General Giap, who had led the victorious struggle against the French, proclaimed reunification, initiating the Vietnam War (1954- 1975), in which the United States put all its war potential to good use.

Nevertheless, when the war ended in 1975, the victory fell to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Communist guerrillas of Vietcong. This was how the Socialist Republic of Vietnam came about, with the North and the South united. In the 1990s, there was a gradual abandonment of the centralized economy and insertion in the world market. In 1994, the United States lifted the economic embargo on Vietnam, which had lasted since the end of the war. In 1995, the two countries reestablished diplomatic relations.

In January 2008, Vietnam takes up a non-permanent (two-year) seat on the UN Security Council.

Vietnam today

Today, Vietnamese are trading partners with their former enemy, who has become a commercial ally. The liberalizing economy grows at high rates, while the fall in social inequality has made the country a showcase among poor countries.

In the 1980s, Vietnam established economic reforms, aiming at commercial freedom through private trade, opening up the country to foreign investments through free trade and allowing private property in the agricultural sector.

These measures were expanded in the 1990s, with the widening of the process of making economic policy more flexible (privatizations and a greater presence of foreign capital) in the face of a policy that remained socialist.

In 1994, trade relations were resumed with the United States, which lifted the trade embargo. In 2000, US President Bill Clinton visited Vietnam.

From the 2000s onwards, liberalizing reforms accelerated to attract industries, mainly from the textile sector, which settled in the territory, which has cheap labor for a sector that needs numerous workers.

According to youremailverifier, the country followed in China’s footsteps, with economic openness and communist political authoritarianism. The communist government is one of five remaining in the world, with China, Cuba, Laos and North Korea. Vietnam’s economic success is relevant, as in recent years the country has grown, on average, by 6% of GDP.

Progress in combating poverty was also extremely sharp: in the 1990s, 60% of the population lived below the poverty line, an index that fell to the current 10%. There has also been progress in the educational sector.

In the agricultural sector, the end of state control expanded the production of coffee (robust species) for export and rice, which use a large portion of labor. Mineral extraction corresponds to manganese, bauxite, iron and mineral coal.

Vietnam Country Guide