Country Profile: Vietnam

Quick facts

Population: 96,160,163
Size: 331,210 sq km
Capital city: Hanoi
Currency: Dong (NZ$1 = 16,576 VND, March 2018)
National airline: Vietnam Airlines


Official language: Vietnamese
Main ethnic groups (2009): Kinh (Viet) (85.7%), Tay (1.9), Thai (1.8), Muong (1.5), Khmer (1.5), Mong (1.2), Nung (1.1), Hoa (1), other (4.3)
Religion (2009)none 81.8%, Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%
Median age: 30.5 years
Average population growth (2017): 0.93 percent


Politics and Institutions

System: Socialist republic, one-party state
General Secretary of the Communist Party: Nguyễn Phú Trọng
President: Trần Đại Quang
Prime Minister: Nguyễn Xuân Phúc
Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam: Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân
Legislative branch: National Assembly of Viet Nam
Military forces: People's Army of Viet Nam 
Judiciary: Supreme People’s Court of Viet Nam, provincial municipal courts, local courts, military courts


Income level: Lower middle income
GDP (2016): US$206.28 billion
GDP per capita (2016)US$2171
GDP composition: Services (45%), Industry (36%), Agriculture (18%)
Labour force (2017): 56.46 million
Time required to start a business: 24 days
Foreign direct investment, net (US$ in millions, 2016): 12,600


The Communist Party of Vietnam has a high level of control over the media. In 2015, the Committee to Protect Journalists  ranked it as the 6th most censored country globally, and it also ranks poorly in Freedom House's Freedom of the Press reports. 

National television network:

National radio service:

National newspapers:

English-language newspapers:

Bilateral relations

New Zealand became one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam after reunification in 1975.  Vietnam initiated the Doi Moi (renovation) economic reforms in the 1980s, followed by 1990s reforms in international relations and participation in international institutions. Since then, Vietnam’s economy has steadily grown, with the country aiming to be a developed nation by 2020.

Vietnam and New Zealand cooperate on a range of issues, including agri-business, disaster management, aviation, tourism, defence and education.

Vietnam is included in the ASEAN-Australia-NZ FTA (AANZFTA) and is a signatory to the CPTPP.  Trade between New Zealand and Vietnam exceeds $1 billion, with a goal to expand trade levels to $2.2 billion by 2020.  The value of goods exports to Vietnam was $724 million in 2017 (an increase of 40.4 percent from 2016). The value of imports from Vietnam to New Zealand was $830 million. Both countries are also involved in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Vietnamese in New Zealand

There were 6,660 Vietnamese living in New Zealand in 2013, mainly in the Auckland region. 23.9 percent, or 1,572 people, were born in New Zealand.

In 2017, 7,792  Vietnamese visited New Zealand, including 3,120 for a holiday. In the same year, 22,440  New Zealanders travelled to Vietnam for their main holiday destination.

Useful links

New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam

The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Wellington

Vietnamese Students’ Association, Victoria University of Wellington

Vietnamese Students’ Association, University of Auckland