Viet Nam’s rapid economic progress has been accompanied by continually growing electricity demand for industrial development and private consumption. During 2000−2009, this demand grew at an average of 14% per year and, in 2011, was projected to grow at the same rate until 2015 and by 11% in 2016−2020.
In 2006, only about 46% of Viet Nam’s rural population had access to clean water, and water was not available throughout the year. About 83% had latrines, but only 48% of these were hygienic, by government standards. Knowledge of individual sanitation remained poor.
Accounting for 30% of Viet Nam’s natural forest area in 2005, the Central Highlands Region is a biodiversity hotspot and the watershed of several important rivers. However, it was also the country’s second poorest region at the time, with poverty levels as high as 57% among ethnic minority groups that made up 23% of its population.
Over 2003–2008, Viet Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average of 7.7% per year. While agriculture’s GDP share declined from 22.5% in 2003 to 20.4% in 2008, the country’s agricultural products achieved greater competitiveness and their exports expanded significantly.
Viet Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) had grown at an average of 7.5% per annum over 1996–2006 and reached 8.2% in 2006. Building on this remarkable performance, the government was determined to maintain a high economic growth of 8.0%–8.5% in 2006–2010 to reduce poverty to 11%–15% by 2010.