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Business and Market Summary on Vietnam

A lot of the Vietnamese population are in the rural areas however the proportion in the urban human population is gradually increasing from 19.7% in 1990 to 26.0% in 2004. Vietnam's largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (population 5.0 million) and Hanoi (population of 3.5 million) accompanied by Nai, Haiphong and Dac Lac.


Household income in Ho Chi Minh City is almost three times the national average - the city makes up about nearly half of all of the motorbikes in Vietnam. Nearly 20% of the population live underneath the poverty level and mainly from rural households. 10%-15% of the households are middle to high-income households while 65%-70% are lower-income households.

INFRASTRUCTURE. Vietnam's telecommunication systems lag behind many neighbouring countries in your community and for that reason government puts great focus on its modernisation. Digital exchanges now connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City and main lines have risen whilst the using mobile telephones keeps growing. The country's road system stretches through the northern to southern tip of Vietnam. Northern and southern Vietnam are served by two international airports and two main sea ports serving international shipping.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Vietnam's major trading partners are the US, Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Columbia. Major exports include oil, seafood, rice, coffee, cashew nuts, rubber, tea, garments and shoes. Major imports include machineries and equipments, petroleum products, fertilisers, steel products, cotton, grains, cement and motorcycles.

CONSUMER Using TECHNOLOGY. There was nearly 10.A million telephones set up in Vietnam and nearly 5.0 million cellphone subscribers in 2004. The federal government is putting considerable efforts to modernise and increase the country's telecommunication system but nevertheless lags when compared with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Computer penetration is low; estimates differ from 2% to 4% of the population in 2004 and an estimated 5.8 million internet users. The penetration of television is just 20% and concentrated to homes in the cities and towns. Similarly, installation of refrigerators is concentrated within the cities where 60% in the homes have refrigerators.

RETAIL MARKET. Retail sales in Vietnam grew by 8%-12% annually from 2000 to 2004 brought about by increasing disposable income due to country's strong economic growth. Vietnamese consumers spend two-thirds with their income on retail purchases amounting to US$16.3 billion in 2004. Traditional wet markets along with the "mom and pop" shops dominate the retail industry making up 95% from the total retail trade. Many of these stores measure only five square metres (54 sq ft). Modern retail establishments are restricted but gradually emerging in the nation and usually locally owned businesses concentrated in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

FOOD CULTURE. Rice and noodles would be the staple food with the Vietnamese but taste preference differs by region. Foods in central Vietnam are spicier while foods in southern and northern Vietnam are less spicy and therefore are saltier. The Vietnamese often dip their foods with chilli, garlic or fish sauce to add flavour. In france they colonialists introduced European style bread and bakeries in to the Vietnamese food culture. Western style fastfood service establishments are beginning to emerge alongside the traditional snack bars, cake shops and mobile food carts.
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