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(since 29 September 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the proposal of the
prime minister and ratification of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its
members for a five-year term; election last held 25 September 1997
(next to be held when National Assembly meets following legislative
elections in NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president from
among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers
appointed by the prime minister
election results: Tran Duc LUONG elected president; percent of
National Assembly vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Quoc-Hoi (450
seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 20 July 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - CPV 92%, other 8% (the 8%
are not CPV members but are approved by the CPV to stand for
election); seats by party - CPV or CPV-approved 450

Judicial branch: Supreme People's Court, chief justice is elected for
a five-year term by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the
president

Political parties and leaders: only party - Communist Party of Vietnam
or CPV

International organization participation: ACCT, APEC, AsDB, ASEAN,
CCC, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO,
ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador LE VAN BANG
chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, Suite 400
telephone: (202) 861-0737
FAX: (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general: San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Douglas B. "Pete" PETERSON
embassy: 7 Lang Ha Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 400, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: (4) 8431500
FAX: (4) 8350484
consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City

Flag description: red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the
center

@Vietnam:Economy

Economy - overview: Vietnam is a poor, densely populated country that
has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial
support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the rigidities of a centrally
planned economy. Substantial progress was achieved from 1986 to 1996
in moving forward from an extremely low starting point - growth
averaged around 9% per year from 1993 to 1997. The 1997 Asian
financial crisis highlighted the problems existing in the Vietnamese
economy but, rather than prompting reform, reaffirmed the government's
belief that shifting to a market oriented economy leads to disaster.
GDP growth of 8.5% in 1997 fell to 4% in 1998 and rose slightly to an
estimated 4.8% in 1999. These numbers masked some major difficulties
that are emerging in economic performance. Many domestic industries,
including coal, cement, steel, and paper, have reported large
stockpiles of inventory and tough competition from more efficient
foreign producers. Foreign direct investment has fallen dramatically,
from $8.3 billion in 1996 to about $1.6 billion in 1999. Meanwhile,
Vietnamese authorities have slowed implementation of the structural
reforms needed to revitalize the economy and produce more competitive,
export-driven industries. Privatization of state enterprises remains
bogged down in political controversy, while the country's dynamic
private sector is denied both financing and access to markets. Reform
of the banking sector - considered one of the riskiest in the world -
is proceeding slowly, raising concerns that the country will be unable
to tap sufficient domestic savings to finance growth. Administrative
and legal barriers are also causing costly delays for foreign
investors and are raising similar doubts about Vietnam's ability to
attract additional foreign capital.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $143.1 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,850 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 33%
services: 41% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: 37% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 29% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 38.2 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 67%, industry and services
33% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 25% (1995 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $5.6 billion
expenditures: $6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.7
billion (1996 est.)

Industries: food processing, garments, shoes, machine building,
mining, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, coal, steel,
paper

Industrial production growth rate: 10.3% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 20.62 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 12.95%
hydro: 87.05%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 19.177 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: paddy rice, corn, potatoes, rubber, soybeans,
coffee, tea, bananas; poultry, pigs; fish

Exports: $11.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee,
rubber, tea, garments, shoes

Exports - partners: Japan, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong,
France, South Korea, US, China

Imports: $11.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products,
fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles

Imports - partners: Singapore, South Korea, Japan, France, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden

Debt - external: $7.3 billion Western countries; $4.5 billion CEMA
debts primarily to Russia; $9 billion to $18 billion nonconvertible
debt (former CEMA, Iraq, Iran)

Economic aid - recipient: $2 billion in credits and grants pledged by
international donors for 1999 and again for 2000

Currency: 1 new dong (D) = 100 xu

Exchange rates: new dong (D) per US$1 - 14,020 (January 2000), 13,900
(December 1998), 11,100 (December 1996), 11,193 (1995 average), 11,000
(October 1994), 10,800 (November 1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Vietnam:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 775,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 178,000 (1998)

Telephone system: while Vietnam's telecommunication sector lags far
behind other countries in Southeast Asia, Hanoi has made considerable
progress since 1991 in upgrading the system; Vietnam has digitalized
all provincial switch boards, while fiber-optic and microwave
transmission systems have been extended from Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho
Chi Minh City to all provinces; the density of telephone receivers
nationwide doubled from 1993 to 1995, but is still far behind other
countries in the region
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean
region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 65, FM 7, shortwave 29 (1999)

Radios: 8.2 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: at least 7 (plus 13 repeaters) (1998)

Televisions: 3.57 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (1999)

@Vietnam:Transportation

Railways:
total: 2,652 km
standard gauge: 166 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 2,249 km 1.000-m gauge
dual gauge: 237 km NA-m gauges (three rails) (1998)

Highways:
total: 93,300 km
paved: 23,418 km
unpaved: 69,882 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 17,702 km navigable; more than 5,149 km navigable at all
times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft

Pipelines: petroleum products 150 km

Ports and harbors: Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong
Gai, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang

Merchant marine:
total: 133 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 616,115 GRT/941,611 DWT
ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 103, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk
1, container 1, liquified gas 1, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated
cargo 4 (1999 est.)

Airports: 48 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 36
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 7 (1994 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (1994 est.)

@Vietnam:Military

Military branches: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) (includes Ground
Forces, Navy, and Air Force), Coast Guard

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 21,149,579 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 13,335,337 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 949,532 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $650 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.5% (FY98)

@Vietnam:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: maritime boundary with Cambodia not defined;
involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China,
Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary
with Thailand resolved, August 1997; maritime boundary dispute with
China in the Gulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China but
claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; offshore islands and sections of
boundary with Cambodia are in dispute; agreement on land border with
China was signed in December 1999, but details of alignment have not
been made public

Illicit drugs: minor producer of opium poppy with 2,100 hectares
cultivated in 1999, capable of producing 11 metric tons of opium;
probably minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin destined for
the US and Europe; growing opium/heroin addiction; possible
small-scale heroin production

______________________________________________________________________



VIRGIN ISLANDS

@Virgin Islands:Introduction

Background: During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into
two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane,
produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th
and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish
portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of
slavery in 1848.

@Virgin Islands:Geography

Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North
Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates: 18 20 N, 64 50 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 352 sq km
land: 349 sq km
water: 3 sq km

Area - comparative: twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 188 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low
humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to
November

Terrain: mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Crown Mountain 474 m

Natural resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

Land use:
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures: 26%
forests and woodland: 6%
other: 47% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and
severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes

Environment - current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources

Geography - note: important location along the Anegada Passage - a key
shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best
natural, deepwater harbors in the Caribbean

@Virgin Islands:People

Population: 120,917 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.8% (male 17,258; female 16,359)
15-64 years: 63.72% (male 35,026; female 42,021)
65 years and over: 8.48% (male 4,435; female 5,818) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.07% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 15.96 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 9.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.11 years
male: 74.2 years
female: 82.25 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.27 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Virgin Islander(s)
adjective: Virgin Islander

Ethnic groups: black 80%, white 15%, other 5%
note: West Indian (45% born in the Virgin Islands and 29% born
elsewhere in the West Indies) 74%, US mainland 13%, Puerto Rican 5%,
other 8%

Religions: Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%

Languages: English (official), Spanish, Creole

Literacy:
definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%

@Virgin Islands:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Virgin Islands of the United States
conventional short form: Virgin Islands
former: Danish West Indies

Data code: VQ

Dependency status: organized, unincorporated territory of the US with
policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the
jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the
Interior

Government type: NA

Capital: Charlotte Amalie

Administrative divisions: none (territory of the US); there are no
first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government,
but there are three islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint
John, Saint Thomas

National holiday: Transfer Day, 31 March (1917) (from Denmark to US)

Constitution: Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954

Legal system: based on US laws

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants
are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

Executive branch:
chief of state: President William Jefferson CLINTON of the US (since
20 January 1993); Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January
1993)
head of government: Governor Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL (since 5
January 1999) and Lieutenant Governor Gererd LUZ James II (since 5
January 1999)
cabinet: NA
elections: US president and vice president elected on the same ticket
for four-year terms; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the
same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 3
November 1998 (next to be held NA November 2002)
election results: Dr. Charles Wesley TURNBULL elected governor;
percent of vote - Dr. Charles W. TURNBULL (Democrat) 58.9%, former
Governor Roy L. SCHNEIDER (ICM) 41.1%

Legislative branch: unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected
by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held 3 November 1998 (next to be held NA November
2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
Democratic Party 6, Republican Party 2, ICM 2, independents 5
note: the Virgin Islands elect one representative to the US House of
Representatives; election last held 3 November 1998 (next to be held
NA November 2000); results - Dr. Donna GREEN (Democrat) 80%, Victor O.
FRAZER (ICM) 20%

Judicial branch: US District Court, judges are appointed by the
president; Territorial Court, judges appointed by the governor

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party ;
Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM ; Republican
Party

International organization participation: ECLAC (associate), Interpol
(subbureau), IOC

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of the US)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of the US)

Flag description: white, with a modified US coat of arms in the center
between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows a
yellow eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and three arrows in
the other with a superimposed shield of vertical red and white stripes
below a blue panel

@Virgin Islands:Economy

Economy - overview: Tourism is the primary economic activity,
accounting for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The islands
normally host 2 million visitors a year. The manufacturing sector
consists of petroleum refining, textile, electronics, pharmaceutical,
and watch assembly plants. The agricultural sector is small, with most
food being imported. International business and financial services are
a small but growing component of the economy. One of the world's
largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix. The islands are
subject to substantial damage from storms.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.8 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Labor force: 47,443 (1990 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 1%, industry 20%, services
79% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 4.9% (March 1999)

Budget:
revenues: $364.4 million
expenditures: $364.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1990 est.)

Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum
distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 1.019 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 948 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle

Exports: $NA

Exports - commodities: refined petroleum products

Exports - partners: US, Puerto Rico

Imports: $NA

Imports - commodities: crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building
materials

Imports - partners: US, Puerto Rico

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September

@Virgin Islands:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 58,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 2,000 (1992)

Telephone system:
domestic: modern, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: submarine cable and satellite communications; satellite
earth stations - NA

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 11, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 107,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)

Televisions: 68,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (1999)

@Virgin Islands:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 856 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, Port
Alucroix

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 2
note: international airports on Saint Thomas and Saint Croix (1999
est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (1999 est.)

@Virgin Islands:Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the US

@Virgin Islands:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

______________________________________________________________________



WAKE ISLAND

@Wake Island:Geography

Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds
of the way from Hawaii to the Northern Mariana Islands

Geographic coordinates: 19 17 N, 166 36 E

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 6.5 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington,
DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 19.3 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical

Terrain: atoll of three coral islands built up on an underwater
volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 6 m

Natural resources: none

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1998)

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons

Environment - current issues: NA

Geography - note: strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean;
emergency landing location for transpacific flights

@Wake Island:People

Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: US military personnel have left the island, but some civilian
personnel remain (July 2000 est.)

@Wake Island:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Wake Island

Data code: WQ

Dependency status: unincorporated territory of the US; administered
from Washington, DC by the Department of the Interior; occasional
activities on the island are managed by the US Army under a US Air
Force contract

Flag description: the flag of the US is used

@Wake Island:Economy

Economy - overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services
to contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods
must be imported.

Electricity - production: NA kWh

@Wake Island:Communications

Telephone system: satellite communications; 1 DSN circuit off the
Overseas Telephone System (OTS)
domestic: NA
international: NA

Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM NA, shortwave NA
note: Armed Forces Radio/Television Service (AFRTS) radio service
provided by satellite (1998)

Television broadcast stations: 0 (1997)

@Wake Island:Transportation

Ports and harbors: none; two offshore anchorages for large ships

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Transportation - note: formerly an important commercial aviation base,
now occasionally used by US military, some commercial cargo planes,
and for emergency landings

@Wake Island:Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the US

@Wake Island:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: claimed by Marshall Islands

______________________________________________________________________



WALLIS AND FUTUNA

@Wallis and Futuna:Introduction

Background: Although discovered by the Dutch and the British in the
17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who declared a protectorate
over the islands in 1842. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands
voted to become a French overseas territory.

@Wallis and Futuna:Geography

Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about
two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 13 18 S, 176 12 W

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 274 sq km
land: 274 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island),
Ile Alofi, and 20 islets

Area - comparative: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 129 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry
season (May to October); rains 2,500-3,000 mm per year (80% humidity);
average temperature 26.6 degrees C

Terrain: volcanic origin; low hills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Singavi 765 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 20%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 75% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: deforestation (only small portions of
the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use
of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the
forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to
erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the
lack of natural fresh water resources

Geography - note: both island groups have fringing reefs

@Wallis and Futuna:People

Population: 15,283 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: NA%

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

Nationality:
noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders



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