Guide for expatriates moving, living and working in Vietnam, Hanoi City Guide, international Movers, aparthotel, relocation, concierge services to Hanoi, Real Estate, with property search,
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Expatriate and relocation guide to Chi Minh-Ville
Living and Working in Vietnam
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City Ville Guide - Go to Vietnam, living in vietnam, Expat to Hanoi, Expats to Ho Chi Minh, ..

Guide for expatriates moving, living and working in Vietnam, Hanoi City Guide, international Movers, aparthotel, relocation, concierge services to Hanoi, Real Estate, with property search, relocation information, and shopping and services directories

Historical outline :
From 111 BC until 939 AD, Vietnam was annexed by the Chinese Han.
Following the relatively solid dynasties of the medieval period (the Ly, the Tran, the Lê), the imperial state employed a policy of division between the ruling lords.
In the 19th century, with the coming to power of the Nguyen dynasty (1802), the Emperor was able to assume his authority again and the Viet country was again united.

Geographical situation
Vietnam is a long strip of mountainous land on the edge of Indochina overlooking the China Sea.
It has a total surface of 331,114 square kilometers and a population of 76,520,000 inhabitants, giving a population density of 235 people per sq. km.

Economy :
Until the Asian crisis, the 1987 'renewal' policy (Doi Moi) was attracting foreign investment. The country really needs this investment, but the investors are discouraged by the lack of real change in the legal and administrative sectors. As there are so few local investors, the country depends on foreign loans and investments and these are unfortunately on the decline. In 1996 direct foreign investment represented about 8 billion dollars, in 1999 the amount dropped to 1.4 billion, a drop which is not only due to the Asian crisis. It is absolutely necessary to continue with the reform policies (administrative, bank and commercial regulations, privatizations, etc) and the fact that they have bogged down recently is the main reason for the disillusion of the lenders and the investors.

Industry The low labour costs have attracted several industries to Vietnam which had been less competitive elsewhere in Asia, capital from Taiwan and Hongkong has also built facturies, textile and shoes, for export. But the heavy bureaucracy and the still weak opening up of the economy discourages foreign investors from developing heavier or more advanced industries. It takes about three years to get an investment project completed.

Ethnic composition
: Vietnamese 85%, Chinese 3%, Muongs, Tais, Meos, Khmers, Mans, Chams
The country is characterized by a great diversity of ethnic groups, 60 have been counted. But the population appears to be homogenous, due to the fact that it is largely dominated by the kinh, or viets, who are spread throughout the territory and make up 85% of the population. The other ethnic groups are mainly to be found in the mountains and the high plateaus. There are nearly a million Vietnamese of Chinese origin, the Hoa, who live mostly in the south of the country, particularly in Hô Chi Minh-Ville.

Hô Chi Minh-Ville : ex-Saigon, nothing like the nostalgic portrayal in French cinema, Hô Chi Minh-Ville is constructing its future on dollars and new buildings.

Hanoi : one of the most beautiful towns in Asia, Hanoi is the cradle of all the intellectual and artistic life in the country. Sheltered from all foreign influence from 1954 to 1992,

Vietnam is situated in a region of tropical and subtropical climates, with monsoons, a lot of sun, a lot of rain and a lot of humidity. Certain regions near the Tropic of Cancer and in the mountains have a temperate climate. Nearly continental in the northern mountains, the climate becomes semi-tropical in the Hanoi basin and it gets more and more hot and humid as you descend towards the south and Saigon, where the monsoon arrives between June and September

Working in Vietnam

Working methods are very different from those in France.
In 1994 a new work code was adopted to fix the conditions of local employment.
A Vietnamese employee who works for a foreign company has to get a work permit from the Labour Ministry.
State structures, known as 'Aid Bureaus' must be applied to when you are employing local people.

Habits and traditions in professional life.

When you arrive at a meeting, shake the hand of the most important person first.
Have visiting cards with you and give them with both hands (a sign of respect) to everyone present.
These received in exchange (always with two hands) should be scrutinized carefully.
If you are offered a tea (or a cigarette) you must accept it, even if you don't drink it

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