Familiar Spots

Finding Your World In A New Place


  • Bright Kragh posted an update 1 year ago

    Almost all of the Vietnamese population reside in the rural areas though the proportion from the urban population is 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 3.5 million) followed by Nai, Haiphong and Dac Lac.

    Household income in Ho Chi Minh City is nearly three times the country’s average – town is the reason for nearly half of all the so-called motorbikes in Vietnam. An estimated 20% of people live under 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 the region and for that reason government puts great emphasis on its modernisation. Digital exchanges now attached to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City and main lines have gone up even though the use of mobile telephones is increasing. The nation’s road system stretches through the northern to southern tip of Vietnam. Southern and northern Vietnam are with two air-ports and 2 main sea ports serving international shipping.

    INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Vietnam’s major trading partners are the US, Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Mexico. 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 are nearly 10.One million telephones positioned in Vietnam and nearly 5.0 million cell phone subscribers in 2004. The federal government is putting considerable efforts to modernise and increase the country’s telecommunication system but still lags in comparison with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Computer penetration is low; estimates change from 2% to 4% of people in 2004 plus an estimated 5.8 million web users. The penetration of television is merely 20% and concentrated to homes from the cities and towns. Similarly, setting up refrigerators concentrates in the cities where 60% from the homes have refrigerators.

    RETAIL MARKET. Retail sales in Vietnam grew by 8%-12% annually from 2000 to 2004 because of increasing disposable income due to the country’s strong economic growth. Vietnamese consumers spend two-thirds of the 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% from the total retail trade. Several stores measure no more than five square metres (54 feet square). Modern retail establishments are restricted but gradually emerging in the country and customarily 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 northern and southern Vietnam are less spicy and tend to be saltier. The Vietnamese often dip their foods with chilli, garlic or fish sauce to incorporate flavour. France colonialists introduced European style bread and bakeries in the Vietnamese food culture. Western style junk food service establishments have started to emerge plus the traditional snack bars, cake shops and mobile food carts.

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