Vietnam has a booming trade industry in importation, exportation, and interprovincial trade. They have a trade industry that almost completely covers Asia and even extends to the United States of America and Australia. Just looking on google shows a huge number of websites that advertise products from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnam imports more than they export, they trade with a variety of sources and they have a low GDP. Vietnam also has a currency that is not particularly valuable. They export and import fairly standard commodities when compared to other countries but there are some strange items bot imported and exported.

Vietnam has a GDP of 69.2 billion US Dollars and 809 US dollars per capita. This is a fairly low GDP leading many Vietnamese citizens to be poverty stricken. Trade (48.3 billion US dollars) makes up over 69% of Vietnam’s GDP and is therefore a very large industry in Vietnam. While it is obvious that not everybody trades internationally, there are the select few who make huge sums of money through trade. His is what causes Vietnam’s GDP to be so heavily influenced by trade. The history of exports and imports in Vietnam is shown in the image below.
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The primary form of currency in Vietnam is the Dong. 1 United States dollar is the equivalent of 16,175 Vietnamese Dong. This lack of value in the currency reinforces the fact that Vietnam is not a prosperous country. However this does cause many people from other countries to want to purchase exports from Vietnam. This is the primary reason for Vietnam’s GDP to be primarily comprised of funds gained through trade.

Imports & Exports
Vietnam primarily exports to the China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. All of these countries are located in Asia showing that most other areas either produce their own recourses or have a better or cheaper source of the primary export commodities of Vietnam.

The primary exports of Vietnam are crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments and shoes. This shows that Vietnam does not have enough natural recourses to effectively profit from their sales. Not many countries have one of their primary exports as shoes. However this reinforces the statement in the previous paragraph about other countries having better sources for most of the commodities exported by Vietnam. Most western countries gain their shoes from African nations and the few select Asian countries such as India.

Vietnam primarily imports from the United States of America, Japan, Australia, China and Germany. Vietnam’s most commonly imported commodities are machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement and motorcycles. The raw cotton is most likely imported from Australia while motorcycles are most likely imported from Japan and Germany. Motorcycles are and important part of life in Vietnam as they are the most commonly used form of transport in all areas. This shows that Vietnam is importing the equipment and recourses necessary for it’s society.

Vietnam has a wide range of trade policies that prohibit the purchase of and sales of some items while placing taxes on others. There are even a number of policies that encourage the purchase of certain items by placing no taxes on their importation. Vietnam also requires licensing in order to import or export goods with other countries.

Vietnam has a wide range of items that are not allowed to be imported. The Vietnamese government claims that these restrictions on the importation of goods are supposed to protect national security, social order and safety, traditional culture, fine customs and health of human beings and animals and environment. By prohibiting antiquities such as religious symbols; the customs and heritage of Vietnam are protected from drastic change. The restriction on wood protects the countries natural environment and ecological stability. Not allowing toxic chemical to be imported into the country aims to protect both the human environment and natural environment.

Almost all of Vietnam’s main imports maintain taxation along with taxation on most raw materials. This is essentially revenue raising as the government is paid a sum of money every time someone imports a commonly imported product. Many people view this tactic as cheap on the government’s point; but it actually allows more funds to be placed into important parts of the Vietnamese society such as the countries relatively poor health care.

Vietnam demands a license to be achieved before any particular citizen is allowed to export of import good from or to Vietnam. This is done to stop and under the table dealing and to achieve some level of control over what is traded in or out of Vietnam.

The state bank of Vietnam has the power to allow the import of some items specifically for their use such as cars for carrying money, ink and machines for printing money, vault doors, devices for counting, classifying, bundling and shredding money. This shows that the Vietnamese government seems to be willing to make exceptions when a corporation necessary to Vietnamese society requires them.

Taxation on overseas profits in Vietnam in fact go down as the amount of money being gained goes up. This leads people with huge funds at their disposal to gain even more money while the people with little investment become poorer. Admittedly the rules are the same for anything below 5, 000, 000 US dollars but the illogical principal remains the same. In order for the government to gain taxes efficiently they have to make the people with the higher income pay more allowing people with lower funding to increase their level of funds thus lessening the number of poverty stricken citizens in Vietnam.



n.d CIA world fact book [internet].


Buisiness in Asia [internet]
Accessed on 29/05/08

Economy Watch [internet]
Accessed on 29/05/08