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Vietnam 1 Introduction Vietnam, or Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is well known to many Americans due to its infamous civil war

in which the United States was involved. Although the war is an iconic piece of Vietnam, the country is starting to be well known for a variety of things, like food. The country can be a hidden gem for certain specialties while it also has its own problems like any other country. These topics, and Vietnam itself, will be broken up into three major components: country culture, country economy, and business climate. These three components will allow an understanding of Vietnams core and hopefully give a deeper insight on the country other than just its warring history. Culture Geography Vietnam is a thin strip-like country located right under China while wrapping around Laos and Cambodia upon the East side while the west is exposed to water. According to International Travel Information, Hanoi is the countrys capital although Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city of the country, or otherwise known as Saigon. The terrain of Vietnam mostly comprises of low land areas on both north and south ends although some of the northern area has a higher hill-like environment and mountains dead center of the country. International Travel Information also states that the land mass is a total of 331, 210 sq. km (only 21, 140 sq. km being water) and the climates typically are very tropical in the south while having a hot rainy summer with a dryly warm winter. People The population of Vietnam consists of approximately 91, 500, 000 people with about 86% being an ethnic group called Kinh, or Viet, which are actual Vietnamese people while there

Vietnam 2 are several other ethnic groups scattered around Vietnam with the official language being Vietnamese and a secondary language is starting to become English ("International travel information," 2012). They continue by saying how of those people, 81% do not believe in a god or are Buddhist that dont practice, eight percent actually follows Buddhism, six and a half percent follows Catholicism, and the rest are a mix other smaller or local religions. The currency the Vietnamese people use is called the ng, but due to the increasing use of English, the dollar is also starting to be accepted. Vietnams form of government is a single-party state with a President, Trng Tn Sang, and Prime Minister, Nguyn Tn Dng, but the prime minister mainly has the power while the president is more of a proxy ("globaledge," 2013). History Vietnam has had a long history that has been filled with foreign country occupations and wars, such as the Vietnam War. Due to the long ancient histories of dynasties, highlights of recent history will be revealed. One of the main most influential pieces of Vietnams history is the French occupation in 1858 that, along with other territories, ruled Vietnam along with the Catholic entity ("International travel information," 2012). GlobalEDGE states that due to the occupation lead to influences such as language and religion. It can be visibly seen today that Catholicism remains in todays Vietnamese people and especially the French language apart of both the written and connotation parts of Vietnamese. Then in 1941, Ho Chi Minh had taken a stand to gain independence from France which had started the First Indochina War from 1945-1954 ("Vietnam profile," 2013). This war was mainly due to resistance against France for Vietnams own independence but had actually separated Vietnam into North and South in the process which led straight into the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War started in 1954 and lasted until 1975 with Ho Chi Minh and his communist

Vietnam 3 followers in North Vietnam essentially on a journey to take over South Vietnam and make one communist country ("Vietnam profile," 2013). Vietnam Profile states that the U.S. had physically intervened in 1965 before withdrawing and ultimately resulting in South Vietnams defeat. After the war, the historically named city, Saigon, was renamed to the present Ho Chi Minh City. With the aftermath of the war, many South Vietnamese were executed or worked to death or sent to camps. Others actually fled off into countries, such as the U.S., but with so many on such tiny or badly built boats caused many time die on the sea. Food Vietnams food is starting to become a popular and common thing with its most famous dish, ph, being very common even in the streets of the U.S. Besides ph, there are many other traditional and popular dishes amongst the Vietnamese people and even others. To list a few common Vietnamese foods are bnh m, spring rolls, animals blood, bnh bao, and a large assortment of noodle dishes. Bnh m is a simple sandwich that is served in a baguette with Vietnamese cooked meats and vegetables of choice. Spring rolls are usually in traditional meals and arent necessarily common in everyday eating, but more in family gatherings or celebrations. With this meal is usually animals blood, commonly pork blood, which is a sort of Jell-O type of texture and looks like chocolate pudding. Animals blood is also another traditional type of food, although it sounds disgusting, it is quite a delicacy amongst Vietnamese people. The bnh bao is a common and fast eating dish that looks like a large dumpling, but is simply a steamed bun that is wrapped around an assortment of ingredients such as vegetables, a type of meat, a boiled egg, and usually Chinese sausage that is packed into a hand-sized ball ready to eat. Then lastly are the variety of

Vietnam 4 noodle dishes, such as ph, that are common in many restaurants and tables of Vietnamese people. Economy Vietnams economy is one that is growing, like many other Asian countries, with its 2012 GDP being $320.5 billion (purchasing power parity) with a real growth rate of 5.1% ("The world factbook, " 2013). The World Factbook continues by saying how Vietnam is trying to modernize their economic conditions and standards especially having recently joining the World Trade Organization in 2007. Vietnams GDP is broken down into three elements: 48% in agriculture, 22.4% in industry, and 29.6% in services ("globaledge," 2013). It seems that the GDP has been steadily increasing over the years and that future growth for Vietnam is plausible and investors should start investing within areas such as agriculture because there wont be a cease in needs such as coffee, rice, or fish. Business Climate Although doing business in English in Vietnam may be the easier part of things, there are different aspects that can prove slightly challenging due to their certain practices. Just like in Vietnamese culture, hierarchy and face are very important in business and one must do all that they can to respect these things ("Doing business in vietnam," 2009). The article continues by saying that since saving face is very important, you must understand the use of silence in some scenarios due to silence being used as a way to disagree but not saying anything to not lose face. GlobalEDGE also adds that to be punctual in time as that is key to earning respect and you must be patient with building relationships, as it is critical, and also negotiations may take a long time. But if you are able to conduct these practices, then the SWOT analysis is the next thing to consider. The SWOT analysis breaks down the following respectively: high labor force, low

Vietnam 5 currency value (pegged system), growing economy with 91 million people, and currency weakness and high income inequality ("The world factbook, " 2013). Conclusion Vietnam is a beautiful country with both its rural areas and city side after being formed from many influences. Doing business in Vietnam can be intimidating if you arent use to waiting, but it can be rewarding with their rising economy. The country has its weakness, like others, but it may slowly diminish with investors pushing it in the right direction out of its currency weakness. If that seems too difficult, then their food scene is always inviting to all who want to try although the pork blood may be understandable to pass on. Regardless, Vietnam is a quietly intensifying country that can be valuable to those who see it that way.