Vietnam has in a couple of decades developed into an industrialized country. The light industry, such as the manufacture of food, has grown faster than the heavy industry. The textile and shoe industry is also important, as is the manufacture of home electronics.
In the heavy industry there is composition of vehicles (not least motorcycles) and chemical industry. As a legacy of the socialist years’ efforts in heavy industry, this is still strongest in northern Vietnam. In the south, light industry dominates.
About a quarter of the labor force in Vietnam is found in industry, if the construction industry and mining are included. Nearly every fifth formally employed Vietnamese works in the manufacturing industry, which accounts for an equal share of GDP.
During the economic reorientation since 1986 (see Economic overview), several state industries have been privatized, while many others have gone bankrupt. For some still state-owned industries, development has gone as fast as for privately owned companies. The reason is that the state sector has had an easier time attracting foreign capital through so-called joint ventures between the Vietnamese state and foreign companies.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Vietnam. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Foreign companies are attracted to invest through low costs and tax relief. Among international giants are the South Korean mobile phone manufacturer Samsung and Finnish Nokia. Sports shoe manufacturers Adidas, Nike and Puma also operate in the country.
Domestic tourism is allowed again
The government eases restrictions on Vietnamese freedom of movement within the country. In this way, it is hoped that domestic tourism will start after the country’s closure in connection with the corona crisis. Vietnam has had 318 cases of corona-infected residents and no deaths in covid-19.
Schools will open again
After Vietnam noted 17 days in a row without any new cases of covid-19, the authorities decide to reopen schools. Millions of children return to the school bench after three months of absence. The universities are also gradually opening up.
Parts of the country open up
The nationwide shut down of the country due to the corona pandemic is abolished, but twelve provinces remain in quarantine as a result of the spread of infection. Among the areas receiving extended quarantine are the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam currently has 268 confirmed cases of covid-19 and no deaths from the disease, according to official statistics.
Vietnam donates face masks
Vietnam donates 550,000 face masks to five European countries to support them in the fight against the new corona virus, which has caused a pandemic. The masks are handed over to the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in Hanoi. Vietnam, which at this time has reported 245 confirmed cases of covid-19 and no deaths, has previously donated masks to China, Cambodia and Laos.
Vietnam is quarantined
The government is quarantining the entire country to try to curb the spread of the new corona virus, which has caused a pandemic. A campaign for so-called social distancing begins. When the decision is made, Vietnam has 241 confirmed cases of coronary infection in the population and no deaths in covid-19 disease.
Ten years in prison for bloggers
Bloggers Truong Duy Nhat is sentenced to ten years in prison for embezzling $ 560,000 from the public when he worked for a state-owned newspaper in the city of Danang in 2004. Nhat has published regime-critical articles on his blog. The verdict is condemned in sharp terms by organizations such as Reporters Without Borders (RUG). In 2019, Vietnam was ranked 176 out of 180 countries in the RUG press freedom index. The poor placement is partly due to Vietnam being one of the countries that has imprisoned most journalists and bloggers. All media in Vietnam are state and independent journalism and blogging is illegal.
The European Parliament ratifies the trade agreement
The European Parliament ratifies the FTA with Vietnam. The bilateral agreement, which was concluded in 2019, must also be approved by the Council of Europe and ratified by Vietnam before it enters into force (see Economic overview).