Vietnam - Economic sectors

The economic structure of Vietnam has changed a great deal since the end of warfare in the country in 1989, with agriculture declining in importance from 40.8 percent of GDP in 1989 to 27.1 percent in 1999. Industry has gained proportionally in importance, growing from a percentage contribution of GDP in 1989 of 22.9 percent to 36.7 percent in 1999. During this period, the contribution of the services sector remained virtually unchanged at 36 percent. The annual growth rates of these sectors show similar trends, with agricultural growth rates averaging 3.9 percent since 1995, while industrial sector growth rates averaged 11.4 percent over the same period. These changes reflect the impact of the doi moi economic renovation policy.

Despite these structural changes, Vietnam remains an agricultural economy in terms of employment. Around 72 percent of Vietnam's labor force , or approximately 28 million individuals, is engaged in agriculture.

With its doi moi reform policy and the goal of reducing the size of the public sector , as of the late 1990s the state sector employed only 9 percent of Vietnam's labor force of 39 million. In the industrial sector, about 25 percent of all employees were working in the state sector. In the commercial service sector, state employment consisted of only 13 percent of employment in 1997.

The Vietnamese service sector is comprised primarily of those in government work (including teachers), a

growing modern retail trade sector, small-scale retail shops, a growing tourist industry, and an expanding finance/banking sector.

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