The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, to the west by Laos and Cambodia and to the east-south by the East Vietnam Sea ( South China Sea). It has a coastal line of about 3,620 km with total land area of 329,560 km2, with a length of some 1,000 km, stretching between 8°30'N and 23°N. The temperature in Hanoi, range between 10 and 35 degree Celsius and relative humidity exceeds 80 percent. There are two major rivers and associated delta systems: Song Hong (Red River) in the north and Song Cuu Long (Mekong River) in the south.
            Vietnam has a population of 78.7 million (2001 estimated). Official language is Vietnamese, while English and other languages such as Russian, French and Chinese are widely used. Administratively, Vietnam is divided into 61 provinces, cities and special zones (including 4 urban authorities), 600 districts and 10,330 communes. The capital is Hanoi and the biggest city is Ho Chi Minh City.
            Economic stagnation marked the period after reunification from 1975 to 1985. In 1986, a broad economic reform package called "doi moi," or renovation has been initiated, which has dramatically improved Vietnam's business climate. Vietnam became one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, averaging around 8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 1997. Vietnam's inflation rate, which stood at an annual rate of over 300% in 1987, fell to below 3% in 2001. Per capita income, $220 in 1994, rose to $410 by 2001 with a related significant reduction in the share of the population living in acute poverty. Energy is a key component in Vietnam's economy and plays a vital role in the industrialization and the social life of the country.

  Basic General Information
Official Name
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
329,560 km2
78.7 million (2001 E)
Dong (VND)
Major Ethnic Groups
Kinh or Vietnamese (86%)
Major Religion
Vietnamese (official), English, French, Chinese,
Gross Domestic Product
32,300 million USD (2001 E)
GDP per Capita
410 USD (2001 E)
GDP Grow Rate
6.8% (2001 E)
2.7% (2001 E)
Merchandise Exports
15,100 million USD (2001 E)
Major Export Products
Crude oil, rice, marine products, garments and textiles, coffee, coal, rubber, nuts
Merchandise Imports
16,000 million USD (2001 E)
Major Import Products
Petroleum products, tractors, tires, steel products, foodstuffs, cotton, textiles, sugar
  Vietnam Oil and Gas - Towards the Future
            The strategic orientation for Vietnam's oil and gas industry in the first decades of the 21st century is to develop in all areas of exploration, production, transportation, processing and distribution of petroleum products to the consumers, to attempt to fulfill the output targets set forth by the Government, which are mapped out by PetroVietnam with the following major objectives to be achieved from now to the year 2020:

  • To immensely speed up exploration on the whole continental shelf of Vietnam to determine the country's proven oil and gas reserves and focus all resources on development activities with new oil and gas fields to meet national energy demands. Step by step, to expand the exploration and production activities to countries overseas.
  • To concentrate on construction and operation of the infrastructures, including national gas pipelines and processing facilities, develop and modernize the petroleum product distribution system to create favorable conditions for the production and utilization of oil and gas and ensure sustainable and stable development of the industry.
  • To broaden international cooperation in order to attract more investment for the industry and develop its own technical and technological ability as well as a team of qualified and experienced staff capable of managing activities in the petroleum industry in Vietnam and the other countries.
           In order to further improve the investment environment and create more favorable conditions to foreign petroleum enterprises, the following, among the general policies and measures are advocated to attract foreign investment:

  • To continue completion of the legal framework for the petroleum industry, and to create opportunities and investment incentives for foreign investors operating in deepwater and areas with difficult geological and geographical settings.
  • For investors with technical, technological, and financial potential and management experience who have committed to taking high risks in exploration projects, preference and assistance will be given for them to participate in new acreage if their tender terms are not too low in comparison with other contractors.

  • To encourage investors to step up exploration and production of gas fields, the Government of Vietnam will develop the domestic gas market, establish a national gas pipeline and consider possible connectivity with the regional Trans-ASEAN gas pipeline to ensure flexibility and stability in production and utilization. With the success and strength achieved during the recent period, PetroVietnam is confident that it will complete the target set out, consequently contributing actively to the country and the world petroleum community

          With the success and strength achieved during the recent period, PetroVietnam is confident that it will complete the target set out, consequently contributing actively to the country and the world petroleum community.

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Last Update: 8 August 2002