Vietnam Business and Culture


The end of the 1st Indochina War led to the partition of Vietnam in 1954. From then on, two separate states that belonged to different economic systems developed. North Vietnam adopted a socialist-oriented development model with Soviet and Chinese characteristics; South Vietnam kept the capitalist system. After the 2nd Indochina War, North Vietnam transferred the central administrative system to the south of the country in the course of reunification in 1976. In the mid-1980s, Vietnam was at the bottom of a recession with stagnating production, galloping inflation, increasing underemployment and an undersupply of the population with basic foodstuffs. In this situation, the government and the party were forced to

An extensive reform process (Doi Moi) has been taking place in Vietnam since then, including the decollectivization of agriculture, the release of the prices set by the state up to then, the introduction of flexible exchange rates, the liberalization of foreign trade and foreign direct investment. The political system of one-party rule by the CPV has so far remained unchanged. Vietnam has since achieved considerable economic success. Since 1987 the gross domestic product (GDP) has reached an annual growth rate of between 5% and 10% (2017: 6.8%). Even during the 1997/89 Asian crisis and the 2008/09 global financial crisis, the country only had to accept a slight decline in rates to 5%. The living conditions improved significantly. In 1993 around 60% of the population lived in poverty, compared to 5.8% in 2016. The inflation rate, which was 500% in 1986, decreased to 3% in 2003 and has only increased slightly since then to 3.5% (2017). The positive economic development has been accompanied by a significant structural change. At the beginning of the transformation process, the increase in agricultural production, but also the increase in the service sector, was able to offset the negative effects of the adjustment recession within industry. Vietnam has been since 1995 but also the growth of the service sector to offset the negative effects of the adjustment recession within the industry. Vietnam has been since 1995 but also the growth of the service sector to offset the negative effects of the adjustment recession within the industry. Vietnam has been since 1995 ASEAN member; since 2007 member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Foreign trade : The opening up of foreign trade in the course of the transformation process led to a sharp increase in Vietnamese foreign trade. In 2016, goods worth US $ 175 billion were imported and exported to the value of US $ 177 billion. The main export products are textiles, shoes, crude oil, fish and fishery products, rice, consumer electronics and coffee. The main trading partners are China, the USA, Japan and South Korea.


In the first millennium BC. The Bronze Age Dongson culture developed in North Vietnam. The further development of Vietnamese culture was shaped by the thousand-year-old Chinese rule (111 BC – 939 AD). The colonial power of France brought European influences in the 19th century. In the 20th century, cultural development was severely restricted by division and war, and then by political censorship.

In Vietnamese literature , in addition to orally transmitted songs and fairy tales, a scholarly literature in Chinese developed from the 10th century. From the 13th century a specifically Vietnamese literature emerged, which was written with modified Chinese characters (nom). The verse epic was the predominant genre. One of the most famous writers of modern Vietnam is Bao Ninh (* 1952), whose novel »The Sorrows of War« (1990) has been translated into many languages.

In Vietnamese art , the Chinese influence left clear traces in architecture (Buddhist temples), calligraphy, sculpture (terracotta figures) and ceramics (glazing). Since the introduction of the reform policy (1986), Vietnamese art has experienced an upswing. One of the most prominent artists of the second half of the 20th century is Nguyen Tu Nghiem (* 1922, † 2016), whose lacquer painting is inspired by traditional mythology and popular art.

According to bridgat, Vietnam has a very lively folk culture. In almost every household there is a family altar where the ancestors are venerated and offerings are made on feast days. In the water puppet theater, which comes from the Red River delta area, the puppets move directly on the surface of the water. It is an improvisational theater that is accompanied by traditional musical instruments such as the bamboo mouth organ, xylophone, gong and the one-string plucked instrument Danbau.

The Vietnamese music has had a tradition since the 13th century. The courtly music of the imperial city of Huê, as well as different styles in folk music, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Western music prevailed in the 20th century. Melancholy, romantic ballads are particularly popular in pop music. YouTube is an important forum for disseminating music. Karaoke singing is very popular.

Football and Asian martial arts find the most supporters in sport. The focus is on popular sport. Vietnam has been participating in the Olympic Games since 1952. The ball sports badminton, volleyball and billiards are widespread. Sepak Takraw, a kind of “soccer tennis”, and chess are also very popular.

World Heritage Sites in Vietnam

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage Sites (N)

  • Citadel with palace complex in Huê (K; 1993)
  • Ha Long Bay (N; 1994)
  • Historic old town of Hoi An (K; 1999)
  • My Son temple town, built by the historic Cham people (K; 1999)
  • Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park (N; 2003)
  • Imperial Citadel , Hanoi (K; 2010)
  • Ho Dynasty Citadel, Thanh Ho Province (K; 2011)
  • Trang An Landscape Complex (K, N; 2014)

Vietnam Culture