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An Introduction to Vietnam

            Vietnam is a unique civilization with a highly cultured people. It is a country filled with natural beauty, tranquil rural settings, and bustling urban centers. In this period of renovation, Vietnam is emerging as an economic powerhouse in South East Asia. From the bustling commercial center of Ho Chi Minh City to the gracious capital of Ha Noi, local business is flourishing and international companies are lining up to invest in new projects. The nation, strangled by years of war, is now flexing its muscles. To succeed in international business is to understand the uniqueness of the culture you will encounter. The purpose of this report is to inform you of some of the business customs you could encounter in Vietnam. Climate. The climate of Vietnam is subtropical. The average temperature for the country is 84 degrees. The country receives most of their annual rainfall in the summer. The southern moisture air currents move across the land during the summer. When traveling to Vietnam on business during the summer be prepared for unexpected rainfall. Currency Exchange. The unit of currency in Vietnam is the Dong. The United States dollar is approximately worth 15000 dong. The dong has constantly fallen in value for the last decade. In Vietnam you are not allowed to export the Dong, however, you are allowed to import other forms of currency. You should pay your bills with Dong instead of low denominations of American currency. Passports and Visas. A valid passport and visa are required for all foreigners visiting Vietnam. Visas are issued by Vietnamese embassies and consulates. Business visas are good for six months and provide for multiple entries. Sponsorship by a licensed Vietnamese enterprise is required. Your Vietnamese trade partner will provide you with the necessary details. Setting Up an Appointment. Communications with Vietnam may present a problem. Try to have someone in Vietnam set up your meetings ahead of time.