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Vietnam Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Vietnam has made significant progress in recent years moving away from the planned economic model toward a more effective market-based economic system. Most prices are now fully decontrolled, and the Vietnamese currency has been effectively devalued and floated at world market rates. In addition, the scope for private sector activity has been expanded, primarily through decollectivization of the agricultural sector and introduction of laws giving legal recognition to private business. Nearly three-quarters of export earnings are generated by only two commodities, rice and crude oil. Led by industry and construction, the economy did well in 1993 and 1994 with output rising 7% and 9% respectively. However, the industrial sector remains burdened by noncompetitive state-owned enterprises the government is unwilling or unable to privatize. Unemployment looms as a serious problem with roughly 20% of the work force without jobs and with population growth swelling the ranks of the labor force yearly.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $83.5 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      8.8% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $1,140 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      14.4% (1994)

    • Unemployment rate:
      20% (1994 est.)

    • Budget:

        $3.6 billion

        $4.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

    • Exports:
      $3.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        petroleum, rice, agricultural products, marine products, coffee

        Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, South Korea

    • Imports:
      $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        petroleum products, machinery and equipment, steel products, fertilizer, raw cotton, grain

        Singapore, Japan, South Korea, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan

    • External debt:
      $4 billion Western countries; $4.5 billion CEMA debts primarily to Russia;

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 13% (1994 est.); accounts for 21% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        2,200,000 kW

        9.7 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        125 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      food processing, textiles, machine building, mining, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 36% of GDP; paddy rice, corn, potatoes make up 50% of farm output; commercial crops (rubber, soybeans, coffee, tea, bananas) and animal products 50%; since 1989 self-sufficient in food staple rice; fish catch of 943,100 metric tons (1989 est.); note - the third largest exporter of rice in the World, behind the US and Thailand

    • Illicit drugs:
      opium producer and increasingly important transit point for Southeast Asian heroin destined for the US and Europe; growing opium addiction; small-scale heroin producer

    • Economic aid:

        $2 billion in credits and grants pledged by international donors for 1995, Japan largest contributor with $650 million pledged for 1995

    • Currency:
      1 new dong (D) = 100 xu

    • Exchange rates:
      new dong (D) per US$1 - 11,000 (October 1994), 10,800 (November 1993), 8,100 (July 1991), 7,280 (December 1990), 3,996 (March 1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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