• Nyholm Peacock posted an update 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Most of the Vietnamese population live in the rural areas though the proportion from the urban inhabitants 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 three.5 million) followed by Nai, Haiphong and Dac Lac.

    Household income in Ho Chi Minh City is virtually three times the nation’s average – the city is the reason nearly half of all the motorbikes in Vietnam. Around 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 neighborhood and so government puts great emphasis on its modernisation. Digital exchanges now attached to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City and main lines have increased while the use of mobile telephones is growing. The country’s road system stretches from your northern to southern tip of Vietnam. Southern and northern Vietnam are using two international airports as well as main sea ports serving international shipping.

    INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Vietnam’s major trading partners include 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 were nearly 10.1 million telephones set up in Vietnam and nearly 5.0 million cell phone subscribers in 2004. The government is putting considerable efforts to modernise and help the country’s telecommunication system but nevertheless lags compared to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Computer penetration is low; estimates change from 2% to 4% of the population in 2004 as well as an estimated 5.8 million internet users. The penetration of television is simply 20% and concentrated to homes within the towns and cities. Similarly, installing of refrigerators concentrates inside the cities where 60% from 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 because of the country’s strong economic growth. Vietnamese consumers spend two-thirds of their income on retail purchases amounting to US$16.3 billion in 2004. Traditional wet markets and the "mom and pop" shops dominate the retail industry comprising 95% with the total retail trade. Several stores measure a maximum of five square metres (54 square feet). Modern stores are restricted but gradually emerging in the nation and generally locally owned businesses concentrated in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

    FOOD CULTURE. Rice and noodles include 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 provide flavour. In france they colonialists introduced European style bread and bakeries in to the Vietnamese food culture. Western style fastfood service establishments start to emerge alongside the traditional snack bars, cake shops and mobile food carts.

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