In the mid 1980s Viet Nam was a war-ravaged country that faced famine and a falling command economy. When the Soviet Union, which was its main market and a vital source of foreign assistance, was collapsing, the Government launched a renovation process ‘Doi Moi’ in 1986. Over the past 25 years, Viet Nam’s economy has been expanding 7% per year and has started shifting from agriculture to industry, while the poverty rate has substantially decreased. In 2011 Viet Nam is no longer considered as developing but as an emerging country. The main agricultural products include paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton and tea.
Viet Nam’s industry focuses on food processing, garments and shoes machinery, coal mining and construction materials. The country’s top exports are crude oil, marine products and its major agricultural and industrial products. Viet Nam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of its rapidly growing labour force.
Tourism in Viet Nam has been growing significantly in the past 20 years from about 250,000 visitors in 1990 to over five million in 2010. Estimations showed tourism accounted for 5% of the GDP in 2010 and employs about 1.4 million people. Tourism is increasingly considered as one of the key economic drivers.
Viet Nam is now becoming aware of the necessity to embark on a sustainable tourism growth path protecting its environment, alleviating poverty and maintaining the cultures and traditions of its 53 ethnic minorities. Human resource and infrastructure development are now the priorities as well as ensuring the safety of tourists.