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Business and Market Summary on Vietnam

A lot of the Vietnamese population reside in the rural areas nevertheless the proportion with the urban human population are 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) then Nai, Haiphong and Dac Lac.


Household income in Ho Chi Minh City is almost thrice the nation's average - town is the reason for up to 50 % of all of the motorbikes in Vietnam. Nearly 20% of people live below the poverty level and mainly from rural households. 10%-15% with 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 the region and so government puts great increased exposure of its modernisation. Digital exchanges now connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City and main lines have gone up as the using mobile telephones continues to grow. The national road system stretches through the northern to southern tip of Vietnam. Southern and northern Vietnam are using two air-ports as well as main sea ports serving international shipping.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Vietnam's major trading partners are the US, Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. 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 Use of TECHNOLOGY. There are nearly 10.One million telephones positioned in Vietnam and nearly 5.0 million cell phone subscribers in 2004. The us government is putting considerable efforts to modernise and increase the country's telecommunication system however lags in comparison to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Computer penetration is low; estimates change from 2% to 4% of the population in 2004 plus an estimated 5.8 million internet users. The penetration of television is only 20% and concentrated to homes from the cities. Similarly, installation of refrigerators is targeted 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 caused by increasing disposable income as a result of country's strong economic growth. Vietnamese consumers spend two-thirds of the income on retail purchases amounting to US$16.3 billion in 2004. Traditional wet markets as well as the "mom and pop" shops dominate the retail industry making up 95% in the total retail trade. Several of these stores measure only five square metres (54 sq . ft .). Modern retail establishments are limited but gradually emerging in the country and customarily locally owned businesses concentrated in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

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