The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. Annual rainfall ranges from 120 to 300 centimeters, and annual temperatures vary between 5°C and 37°C.
Land boundaries: Total: 4,639 km border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
In 1986, the Sixth Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam formally abandoned Marxist economic planning and began introducing market elements as part of a broad economic reform package called "Doi Moi" ("Renovation"). In many ways, this followed the Chinese model and achieved similar results. On the one hand, Vietnam achieved around 8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 1997 and continued at around 7% from 2000 to 2002, making it the world's second-fastest growing economy. Simultaneously, investment grew three-fold and domestic savings quintupled. On the other hand, urban unemployment has been rising steadily in recent years, and rural unemployment, estimated to be up to 35% during nonharvest periods, is already at critical levels. Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of an earlier military demobilization further exacerbate the unemployment situation. The country is attempting to become a member organization of the WTO.
Vietnam, however, is still a very poor country with GDP of around US$37 billion in 2004. This translates to merely US$450 per capita. The impressive growth is due to its low base and the government cleverly hide the fact that inflation in the... [continues]
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