The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is situated in the eastern part of the Indochina peninsula, bordering China to the north, Lao and Cambodia to the west and the sea to the east. This location positions Vietnam as “the balcony to see the whole world”, “the regional transport station” and “the gate of the region”.
Head of State: Truong Tan Sang.
National Day: September 2, 1945.
National Anthem: "The troops advanced."
Major cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Hue, Danang.
Highest point: Mount Fan Xi Pan at 3143m altitude.
Geography: The country has 85 million inhabitants, with a total area of 341,690 km2. It shares borders with China, Laos and Cambodia. Its capital is Hanoi. The country is in shape of a dragon.
Politics & religion: Vietnam is a socialist republic country, which advocates a single party. Around 54 ethnic groups are recognized by the government, representing only 15% of the Vietnamese population. The mainstream religion is Buddhism.
Economy: Economic growth is driven by Vietnamese international trade and foreign investment, exports accounting for nearly 20% of GDP. The agricultural sector is dominated by crops and plantations (rice, coffee, cashew nuts, corn, pepper, sweet potato, peanut, cotton, rubber, tea), and aquaculture. This is also the sector that employs most of the population.
The main engine of growth is Vietnamese industry; a sector dominated by large state groups, including textiles, food processing, furniture, plastics and paper industries.
The energy sector is also growing steadily. Vietnam is now the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia. The country is also catching on high value-added industries such as automotive, electronics and computers. The service sector is driven by tourism and telecommunications.