Vietnam is the fastest growing world economy with a growth rate of 7.31% in 2019.


Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia and is about 331.200 km2. With an estimated 98 million inhabitants as of 2021, it is the world’s 15th most populous country and the 3rd most populous Asian country. Geographically, Vietnam is a long, narrow country that extends over 1,600 km (1,000 miles) from north to south, has a coastline excluding islands of over 3,300 km (2,000 miles) and is only 50 km (30 miles) wide at its narrowest point. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west and Malaysia across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. To the east along what the Vietnamese call the “East Sea” (“South China Sea”), lie the Chinese island of Hainan at a distance of only 200 km (124 miles), the Philippines at a distance of 1,400 km (870 miles) as well as numerous islands claimed by Vietnam, China and the Philippines.


Vietnam was part of Imperial China for over a millennium, from 111 BC to 938 AD. In that year, the Vietnamese gained independence, following victory in the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive Vietnamese royal dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Following Japanese occupation in the 1940s, the Vietnamese fought French rule in the First Indochina War, eventually expelling the French in 1954. Thereafter, Vietnam was divided politically into two rival states in the north and south, then was unified in 1976 as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam)

Following reunification, Vietnam was relatively isolated for the next decade, most noticeably from the United States. Then in 1986, the government set out on a program of broad external engagement. By 1995, it had restored full diplomatic relations with the U.S. and become a permanent member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Today Vietnam has diplomatic relations with nearly 200 countries.