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Brief Economic Profile

Vietnam has been one of the fastest growing economies in Asia over the past few years. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vietnam's nominal GDP reached US$138 billion, with a nominal GDP per capita of $1,527 in 2012.

In 1986, the Communist Party adopted “economic renovation” (DoiMoi) policy which laid the foundation for a market-based system to replace the planned economy model. Under this “economic renovation” policy, private sector participation and ownership was encouraged in industries, commerce and agriculture. The accession of Vietnam into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the establishment of the Securities Market and the equalization of private sector with the state owned sector has created huge opportunities to participate get exposure to the business environment and market in Vietnam.Additionally, with the Enterprise Law passed in 2000 and amended in 2005, the Vietnam Stock Exchange established in 2000 and the Government policy on privatizing State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) passed has resulted in the establishment of a number of new private enterprises and created opportunities for foreign investors to invest in Vietnam through partnerships with local private firms.

Pertaining to these reforms, the economic structure of Vietnam has shifted from agriculture oriented during the pre-reforms period to industry-service oriented during the post-reforms period with industry and service output contributing approximately 77% of the GDP. Post the reforms, Vietnam achieved an annual GDP growth of approximately 8% between 1990 and 1997, and the economy continued to grow at an annual rate of approximately 7% from 2000 to 2005. During the period from 2006 onwards, the annual GDP growth for Vietnam declined due to the global financial crisis and stands at 5.8% as of 2012.

Manufacturing, information technology and high-tech industries form a major and fast-growing part of the national economy. Vietnam is currently the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, with a total output of 318,000 barrels per day in 2011. Like its neighbouring countries, Vietnam makes use of centrally planned economic five-year plans.