The policy has proved highly successful, with Vietnam recording near 10% growth yearly (except for a brief interruption during the Asian economic crisis of 1997).
The economy is much stronger than those of Cambodia, Laos, and other neighbouring developing countries.
Like most Communist countries around the world, there is a fine balance between allowing foreign investors and opening up the market.
American tourists will receive a particularly friendly welcome in Vietnam, as many young Vietnamese imitate American customs and venerate US pop culture.
Vietnam is a one party unitary state, with the President as the Head of State, and the Prime Minister as the Head of Government.
Two years later, on 30 April 1975, a North Vietnamese tank drove into the South's Presidential Palace in Ho Chi Minh City and the war ended with the conquest of South Vietnam.
An estimated 800,000 to 3 million Vietnamese and over 55 thousand Americans had been killed.
The Geneva Conference partitioned the country into two at the 17th parallel of latitude, with a Communist-led North and Ngô Đình Diệm declaring himself President of the Republic of Vietnam in the South.
Fighting between South Vietnam and the North Vietnamese-backed Việt Cộng escalated into what became known as the Vietnam War - although the Vietnamese officially refer to it as the American War.The Vietnam war was only one of many that the Vietnamese have fought, but it was the most brutal in its history.Over two thirds of the current population was born after 1975.At various points during these thousand years of imperial dynasties, Vietnam was ravaged and divided by civil wars and repeatedly attacked by the Songs, Mongols, Yuans, Chams, Mings, Dutch, Qings, French and the Americans.The victories mostly belonged to the Vietnamese but, even during the periods in history when Vietnam was independent, it was mostly a tributary state to China until the French colonisation.US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the Southern Vietnam government, escalating into the dispatch of half a million American troops in 1966.