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currency: dong (VND)
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Vietnam profile
extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point
Vietnam history
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups - the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.
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Conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Conventional short form: Vietnam

Local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam

Local short form: Viet Nam

Formerly known as: SRV
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Vietnam's capital city is Hanoi (Ha Noi)
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Vietnam Constitution:

15 April 1992
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Vietnam population growth rate: 1.054%
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Vietnam highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
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Vietnam lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
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About 20% of Vietnam's land is arable.
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Mekong River is the Longest River in Vietnam
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Vietnam birth rate is 17 births/1,000 population
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Vietnam infant mortality rate is 20 deaths/1,000 live births
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Vietnam fertility rate is 1.87 children born/woman
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Vietnam climate:

tropical in south;

monsoonal in north with hot,

rainy season (May to September) and warm,

dry season (October to March)
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Top 10 cities of Vietnam with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Ho Chi Minh City: 7,396,446
2. Hanoi: 6,472,200
3. Hai Phong: 1,907,705
4. Can Tho: 1,187,089
5. Da Nang: 887,069
6. Bien Hoa: 784,398
7. Nha Trang: 392,279
8. Buon Ma Thuot: 340,000
9. Hue: 333,715
10. Thai Nguyen: 330,707
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Vietnam ethnic groups:

Kinh (Viet) - 85.7%

Tay - 1.9%

Thai - 1.8%

Muong - 1.5%

Khmer - 1.5%

Mong - 1.2%

Nung - 1.1%

others - 5.3%
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Vietnam Exports:

clothes
shoes
electronics
seafood
crude oil
rice
coffee
wooden products
machinery
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Vietnam Imports:

machinery and equipment
petroleum products
steel products
raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries
electronics
plastics
automobiles
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unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural)
provinces:
An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai

municipalities:
Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City
Political parties and leaders:
Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) - Nguyen Phu TRONG
other parties proscribed