The defense encompasses (2006) 455,000 standing forces and is based on general military duty with an initial service of two years, some specialists three years. It has not been noticeably reduced in the last twenty years. The army (412,000 men) is organized into 3 mechanized divisions, 10 armored brigades, 1 air landing brigade, 58 infantry divisions/regiments of varying size and a large number of artillery and engineering units. The Navy (40,000 men) has 11 larger battleships, about 37 patrol boats and 6 amphibious vessels. The Air Force (15,000 men) has about 220 fighter planes and 26 combat helicopters. Semi-military forces amount to 4-5 million militia and 40,000 border guards. The material is older or semi-modern and mainly of Soviet origin, e.g. 70 T-62 tanks and 140 MiG 21 fighters. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that VNM stands for Vietnam.
Vietnam’s foreign policy
Vietnam pursues an active foreign policy and was a member of the UN Security Council in 2008-2009. Vietnam is also one of eight “pilot countries” in the United Nations Unification Program “One UN”, which aims at better coordination of various UN agencies. Norway has contributed to the new carbon neutral UN building, named UN One in Hanoi.
- COUNTRYAAH: Do you know where is Vietnam on the world map? Come to see the location and all bordering countries of Vietnam.
Following a previous bitter enmity, relations with China are improving, although there is still disagreement about where the border should be drawn with accuracy in the South China Sea (which Vietnam calls the East Sea). Increasingly, China has become an important trading partner for Vietnam. Economic integration is high on the foreign policy agenda. The trade agreement with the United States has made the United States Vietnam’s largest export market. Close ties are being made to neighboring Cambodia and Laos.
Vietnam’s tiger jump
In the economic sphere, in the early 1990s, Vietnam showed the same economic outlook as its neighbors – the so-called “tiger countries”. Privatization and the liberalization of foreign investment brought the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) to 8.3% in 1992. At the same time, export volume had risen 20% from the previous year. By Vietnamese standard, a “poor” family is determined by not being able to buy 13 kg of rice per day. person per month. A “starving” family is determined not to even be able to buy 8 kg. At the same time, however, the high economic growth had a number of negative consequences. Environmental problems worsened – especially in cities – and the state’s diminished control meant an increase in social problems such as prostitution, corruption and crime.
The country’s foreign economy is predominantly dependent on 2 products: Rice and to a lesser extent oil. Since 1989, Vietnam has become the third largest rice exporter after Thailand and the United States. As long as oil production has not yet played a significant role in the country’s exports, the dependence on a single export product makes the country vulnerable to the international price fluctuations on rice. And these prices are falling, while at the same time losing part of the production due to lack of stocks to collect the rice.
The most important rice production takes place in the Mekong Delta in the south, and at the same time its exports especially benefit the south, thereby contributing to reinforcing the imbalance between the two parts of the country. With more than 5 million inhabitants, Ho Chi Minh City is almost twice the capital of Hanoi, the country’s economic capital and seems to have made it easier to adapt to the new times than the north.
Trade development takes place in a country that is predominantly an agricultural country. 57 million out of 70 million Vietnamese live on agriculture, which remains the backbone of the economy and society. As a result, the government has given farmers a number of benefits such as loans and long-term lease agreements, tax cuts and the right to inherit land of up to 3 hectares. However, private ownership of the land has not yet been completely freed. The larger farmers instead use the so-called Use Rights for the Earth, which they can transfer, sell or rent.
Even today, the consequences of several decades of war in the country are being felt, with an economy that is still oriented to the needs of the war. Large parts of the country continue to be desolate as a result of the use of napalm and of decaying agents such as “Agent Orange”. The infrastructure – ie. telecommunications, roads and electricity supply – has only recently been fully restored following loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Military weapons that have not yet exploded – such as mines – continue to be a serious problem. Especially in the central parts of the country.
In 1993, GDP per capita inhabitant one of the lowest in Asia with US $ 220-350 per year. or approx. one-sixth of the level in Thailand and one-twentieth of the level in South Korea. Unemployment and underemployment are at 30%, while the black economy and smuggling are growing.
The US trade blockade against Vietnam began to wrap up in January 1993, when a commission of U.S. senators concluded that there was no evidence of the presence of North American prisoners of war in Vietnam. In February 1994, US President Bill Clinton announced the lifting of the 19-year trade blockade.