About Vietnam

Key Statistics 2019
Population 98.2 million¹
GDP US$ 362.6 billion¹
GNI per Capita  US$ 3,560¹¹
US Exports to Vietnam US$ 11 billion²
US Imports from Vietnam US$ 101.9 billion²
U.S. FDI in Vietnam  US$ 10.2 billion³
Ease of Doing Business 70/190¹

Sources: 1. The World Bank; 2. US Census Bureau; 3. Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment * Accumulated registered capital for valid projects as of December 2021

Over the years, the Council has supported the development of the US-Vietnam bilateral relationship in a numerous way, including our flagship Vietnam Business Mission. The Council’s on-the-ground presence and deep relationships in Vietnam help to create a mission experience where Council delegates can meet with the top leadership of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for candid discussions focused on solving problems and creating new business opportunities.

Vietnam in the United States

The Council regularly hosts Vietnamese officials in the United States. The Council has organized roundtable meetings, workshops and many other events for the Prime Minister, President, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, and Vietnam's government delegations. These events are not just limited to Washington D.C.; the Council has hosted events in New York, Houston, San Francisco, and other cities in the US -- wherever the officials' travel may take them and wherever Council members have a presence.

A Permanent Presence in Hanoi

Vu Tu Thanh opened the Council's office in Hanoi in November 2007. He has arranged multiple consultations between Council members and Vietnam's officials and visiting US Government officials. Thanh also advises individual member companies on strategic issues and helps them navigate the system in Vietnam, keeping them well informed of and updated on significant new developments.

Success Stories in Vietnam

The Council was instrumental in working with the Vietnamese Government to achieve important milestones in the US-Vietnam relationship, such as the bilateral trade agreement (2001), permanent normal trade relations for Vietnam (2006), and Vietnam's accession to the WTO (2007).

Country Summary

Vietnam is a country with rich natural resources and a well educated, literate population of over 90 million. Since achieving independence from French colonial rule, Vietnam has had conflicts with the United States, China, and Cambodia, but since 1986 the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has committed itself to economic reform, or "Doi Moi" (New Changes). The new policy drove a move from a centrally planned economy to a multi-sectoral one based on open market principles, thus opening the door to foreign investment.

“Doi Moi” has ushered in over two decades of significant progress, both economically and politically. Through the 1990s, Vietnam opened relations with the West, particularly with the United States, with formalized normalized diplomatic relations in 1995 and normalized economic relations with the passage of the Bilateral Trade Agreement in 2001. Even more importantly, in January 2007, Vietnam gained Permanent Normalized Trade Relations with the United States. In July 2013, President Obama and President Truong Tan Sang launched the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, an overarching framework for advancing the bilateral relationship. Vietnam today is one of the most pro-American countries in Southeast Asia, with 84% of Vietnamese people viewing the U.S. favorably in 2017.

In addition to its active engagement with the United States, Vietnam has also emerged onto the world stage with its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in January 2007 and by taking a seat on the United Nations Security Council in January 2008. Vietnam will again serve as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council from 2020-2021 In December 2015, Vietnam joined the ASEAN Economic Community along with the nine other ASEAN members.

Vietnam has passed a series of criminal and civil laws that include both investment and enterprise laws and decrees that look to bring it towards a market economy. This has included the abolishment of price control, the legalization of private ownership, a more dynamic private sector, and the active equitization of the state owned enterprises. It actively encourages greater amounts of foreign investment across key industries, notably those dealing with large infrastructure and energy and is instituting new fiscal and monetary policies.

Vietnam has made incredible economic gains over the last 40 years, from being one of the poorest in Asia, with a poverty rate above 70 percent and a 378 percent inflation rate in 1986 to a country with poverty rate of only 2.23% in 2021 and GDP per capita increased more than tenfold from under US$300 in the 1980s to US$3,700 in 2021. Today, Vietnam is bright spot amidst a gloomy global economy. The World Bank predicts Vietnam’s GDP could grow by 7.5% in 2022, the highest in East Asia and the Pacific region.

U.S. is playing an important role in the development of Vietnam economy. With the comprehensive partnership established, trade grew astronomically between the two countries. In 2021, trade volume between our countries reached an impressive number of $112Bn, a 35% annual increase sustained over the past 10 years from a high base. Vietnam is now America's 7th largest trading partner, by far the largest exporter from ASEAN to the United States, which is also Vietnam's top export market.