A Brief Introduction to Vietnam

Economic Growth 

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam or her short name “Vietnam” is a country in Southeast Asia, that borders the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin and the East Sea, alongside China, Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam has an ever-increasing open and growing economy and was ranked the 36th-largest in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and the 26th in terms of the purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2022. Over the past thirty years, Vietnam has been shifting its economic policies and thanks to it, Vietnam’s economy has enjoyed fairly rapid economic growth. Vietnam is not only integrating into the world’s economy but also trying to be part of the global supply chain as a manufacturing hub and agricultural exporter.

In fact, Vietnam is an active player in international trade. Vietnam joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995 and became a party to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in 1996. Vietnam became a member state of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 11 January 2007. Besides, it was a contracting party to the Vietnam - Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (Vietnam - EAEU FTA) which came into force on 5 October 2016, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which came into force on 30 December 2018, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on 1 January 2022. On 30 June 2019 Vietnam entered into the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with the European Union which came into force on 1 August 2020. In addition to those multilateral trade agreements, Vietnam has signed bilateral trade agreements with all major economies such as the Vietnam - United States Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) signed between Vietnam and the United States of America with its effect in 2001, the Vietnam - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) between Vietnam and Japan in 2009, the Vietnam - Australia Free Trade Agreement (VAFTA) between Vietnam and Australia in 2015, the Vietnam - South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) in 2015 and many more.

Agriculture represents approximately 12% of Vietnam’s GDP and employs 30% of the total workforce. The main crops harvested in Vietnam include rice, coffee, cashew nuts, corn, pepper, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cotton, rubber and tea as well as aquaculture. Industry represents 38% of GDP and employs 33% of the workforce. The energy sector has boomed in recent years with renewable energy sources. Vietnam has also invested in high value-added industries such as cars, electronics and computer technologies (software). Services represent 41% of GDP and employ 38% of the workforce. The main services include tourism.
Vietnam’s labour force is one of its competitive advantages and accounts for an important part of Vietnam’s future economic growth. Compared with many developing countries, Vietnam is famous for its young, hardworking, highly literate and easy-to-train labour force. The labour force aged 15 and older in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 52.1 million, of which 51 million people are employed.

Population Size and Language

The total population in Vietnam is about 100 million people. Vietnamese is the official language. Vietnamese is a tonal language in which the rise and fall of the voice can change the meaning of the words. In written form, Vietnamese uses the Roman alphabet and accent marks to show tones. There are other languages spoken as well: English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Khmer, Cham and other minority languages spoken by tribes inhabiting the mountainous regions. English is the most popular foreign language and widely spoken in some urban areas. Moreover, English study is obligatory in most schools.

Business Hours/Time Zone

A normal working day in Vietnam starts between 7:00 am and 8:30 am and ends between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, from Monday to Friday and until noon on Saturday, leaving the afternoon and Sunday off. Lunch is taken very seriously and virtually everything shuts down between noon and 1:30 pm. Government workers tend to take longer breaks between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm.

The Time zone is (UTC+07:00).

Related Chapters

Culture and Religion in Vietnam

The National Assembly

The Government

The Judiciary

Legal System

Regulatory Framework

Banking & Finance

Capital Markets

Land & Housing

Labour Law


Intellectual Property

Selected Sector Regulations

Dispute Resolution

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